Tag Archives: stifel nicolaus lawsuit

Kurt Gunter-Former Stifel Nicolaus Broker-Sanctioned Over UIT Sales-Austin, TX

November 2020- Austin, TX 

According to his FINRA record  Kurt Jason Gunter a financial advisor currently employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services has recently been sanctioned by FINRA for unsuitable sales of unit investment trusts (UITs).

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

In November 2020 Gunter, without admitting or denying the findings, agreed to a three month suspension and a fine of $10,000 to resolve FINRA’s allegations that from July 2013-December 2016 he engaged in an unsuitable pattern of short-term trading of UITs in customer accounts at Stifel Nicolaus.

In addition, FINRA found that Gunter signed switch letters that were sent to customers that contained inaccurate or missing information about the costs they were incurring as a result of early rollovers of UITs.

Unit Investment Trusts are designed to be long term investments and short term trading is generally improper. According to FINRA findings, Gunter recommended that his customers roll over UITs more than 100 days prior to maturity on more than 270 occasions. As a result customers incurred unnecessary sales charges and the recommendation was unsuitable in view of the frequency and cost of the transaction.

On average, according to FINRA, the switch letters that contained inaccurate information understated the sales charges incurred by customers by about $2,500.

Kurt Gunter was employed by Stifel Nicolaus from 6/2013-8/2017. Since 8/2017 he has been employed by Wells Fargo Clearing Services in Bee Cave, TX.

If you had an account with Kurt Gunter that suffered losses, or if you were a victim of his short term UIT switching  scheme,  you may be entitled to collect damages from his prior employer.

Call for a no charge consultation with an experienced securities attorney.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Stifel Nicolaus Ordered to Pay Elderly Couple For Puerto Rico Bond Losses

Over the past few years St. Louis based Stifel Nicolaus & Co. has faced a number of problem with regulators as well as actions filed by disgruntled customers, including:

  • In 2014, Stifel Nicolaus  was fined $60,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve securities regulator’s allegations that the improperly sold Puerto Rico junk bonds to retail investors by selling bonds below the minimum $100,000 denomination established by the issuer.
  • In February 2017, a FINRA arbitration panel in Dallas, Texas, awarded two former elderly customers over $117,000 for losses suffered as a result of having invested in Puerto Rico municipal bonds. Follow this link to the FINRA record of Stifel Nicolaus broker Robert Kyle Ratcliff. FINRA Case 15-03427, June and Perry Burns v Stifel Nicolaus.

Puerto Rico Debt Crisis

In early 2014, various credit rating agencies downgraded the debt of Puerto Rico to non investment grade, better known as junk status or speculative grade. This downgrade triggered acceleration clauses requiring the repayment of some debt within months, rather than years.

Puerto Rico has over $70 billion of outstanding debt, with a debt to GDP ratio of about 68%. While about $30 billion (42%) of Puerto Rico’s debt is owned by residents of Puerto Rico, the larger portion is owned by non-residents, primarily residents of the continental United States.

Investors who have suffered losses on Puerto Rico’s bonds purchased from a broker employed by Stifel Nicolaus & Co. may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Donald L. Watson-Former Jeffrey Matthews Broker- Discloses Discharge from Employment

UPDATE April 2018– IN 3/2017 FINRA permanently barred Donald Lee Watson, Jr. from the securities industry for refusing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation.

November 2016-Sarasota, FL

The FINRA records of  Donald Lee Watson, Jr. ,  a  former stockbroker with Jeffrey Matthews Financial Group,  who is not currently  employed disclose a prior customer dispute that has been resolved and two terminations from employment after allegations.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the agency that licenses and regulates stockbrokers and brokerage firms. FINRA requires brokers and brokerage firms to report customer complaints and disputes as well as regulatory sanctions. In addition brokers are required to disclose certain financial matters such as personal bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

Watson’s FINRA record discloses that on 1/5/2015 he was discharged by FirstTrust LLC. The company made the following allegations in connection with the discharge: “Disregard for compliance procedures. Failure to repay debt to company. Donald Watson did not comply with requests for personal securities transaction reports and repeatedly violated email compliance protocols. Furthermore, Watson collected a 4-month series of loan payments secured by his personal and unconditional guarantee. He is now disputing the loan and expressing his intent to default.”

His record further discloses that on 12/15/2015, Watson was discharged by The Jeffrey Matthews Financial Group who made the following allegations in connection therewith: “Don Watson (DW) alleged he produced over $700k/yr in gross production at his prior employer. He produced a W2 as evidence to Jeffrey Matthews (JM). JM relied on his assertion adn W-2 as the basis for issuing a corporate advance of $200K. While employed at JM from 9/29/15-12/15/15 DW did not transition any client assets to the firm and had no gross production. DW misrepresented the W2 information as production-related, but JM subsequently learned it was not. In addition, we learned DW’s client spreadsheet presented to JM was also fraudulent.”

Jeffrey Matthews Financial Group filed a FINRA arbitration against Watson seeking recovery of the $200,000 advance plus costs and fees. In November 2016, a FINRA arbitration panel ordered Watson to pay the company $260,000. FINRA Case 16-0548. 

Watson’s prior employment in the securities industry includes:

  • Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.
  • International Assets Advisory
  • PNC Investments
  • LPL Financial
  • UVest Financial Services Group
  • Raymond James Financial Services

If you have losses in an account in an account handled by Donald Watson , contact us to discuss how you may be able to recover damages for those losses.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Stifel Nicolaus Sanctioned by Securities Regulator

December 23,2014

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company  entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent  (AWC) with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to resolve allegations that the firm had several violations related to Best Execution-Market Order Timeliness:

  • From October 2011-December 2011 in 25 instances the firm failed to execute orders fully and promptly. In 13 instances the firm failed to use reasonable diligence to ascertain the best inter-dealer market.
  • From July 2012-September 2012 in 48 instances the firm failed to execute orders fully and promptly and in 6 transactions failed to use reasonable diligence to ascertain the best inter dealer market.
  • From April 2013-June 2013 in 42 instances the firm failed to execute orders fully and promptly and in 13 transactions failed to use reasonable diligence to ascertain the best inter dealer market.

The firm was also faulted for supervisory issues.

Case # 20120341392-01

Stifel Nicolaus was censured  and fined $55,000.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870