Stifel Nicolaus Investigation
May 2023- Taunton, MA
According to publicly available records, Stifel Nicolaus & Co. has been fined $2.5 million by Massachusetts securities regulator William Galvin for ignoring a series of red flags that warned that elderly Massachusetts residents as well as non-profit organizations and churches were being charged excessive and unauthorized fees by one of their advisors, Joseph Crespi. In addition Stifel will be forced pay restitution in the amount of more than $700, to compensate the victims.
According to the consent order, former Stifel broker-dealer agent Joseph Crespi subjected many of his clients to predatory sales practices over several years, leading to higher commission sales for himself and his employer. Despite repeated warnings by Crespi’s own branch manager, Stifel failed for years to discipline Crespi or take any meaningful actions to correct his behavior. According to the order Crespi attempted to disguise his actions, though his branch manager and other internal systems repeatedly flagged his actions for review. It took 3 years before Stifel terminated Crespi.
According to FINRA records, Stifel has been the subject of 138 regulatory actions by various securities regulators over the years. Many of the regulatory actions cite Stifel’s failure to adequately oversee the actions of their advisors. This action by Massachusett’s regulators is the third in a series of enforcement actions taken by that state against Stifel over the past five years. Prior fines paid by Stifel to the State of Massachusetts total $400,000.
Crespi’s FINRA records indicate that he was employed by Stifel from 12/2018-2/2022 when he took a job with Ameriprise Financial from 4/2022-11/2022 when he resigned after he was notified that he was suspended pending an internal review of his conduct.
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.
Stifel Nicolaus & Co.
According to their website, Stifel, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, was started in 1890 and currently has $390 billion in assets under management, over 2,300 financial advisors in more than 400 offices nationwide.
If you have questions about an account with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. , call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. No charge for initial consultation.
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