The White Law Group is investigating potential securities claims involving Sterne Agee Financial Services (also known as SA Stone Wealth Management, CRD# 18456, Birmingham, AL)
The firm, headquartered in Birmingham, AL, reportedly has 12 disclosure events on its broker record including 8 regulatory events, and 4 arbitrations.
FINRA Sanctions Sterne Agee for Failure to Supervise
May 2017 – Sterne Agee was censured and fined $160,000 after it reportedly failed to establish and maintain an adequate supervisory system that was reasonably designed to achieve compliance with certain applicable securities laws and regulations and FINRA rules.
September 2015 – The firm was censured and fined $25,000 after one of Steme Agee’s registered representatives mismarked approximately 966 order tickets as”unsolicited,” when that was not the case. The Firm failed to detect the mismarked tickets and failed to enforce its written supervisory procedures prohibiting solicitation of inverse or leveraged exchange traded funds.
December 2013 – Sterne Agee was fined $75,000 for supervisory system failures and other industry violations.
April 2013- Sterne Agee was fined $50,000 for failing to use reasonable diligence when dealing with customers.
Broker Misconduct and Securities Fraud Violations
Former Sterne Agee Advisor Richard Wesselt Barred after 17 Customer Complaints
November 2020 – FINRA reportedly barred financial advisor Richard Wesselt (Rich Wesselt) from associating with any FINRA member at any time after he purportedly promoted investment strategies involving the purchase of variable annuities and whole life insurance policies. Wesselt’s purported strategy was the recommendation that customers first liquidate their retirement savings in order to purchase variable annuities.
According to FINRA, Wesselt’s purported recommendations to 78 customers that they purchase variable annuities as part of this investment strategy were unsuitable, and reportedly resulted in significant harm to these customers, including unnecessary surrender charges, costly fees and penalties, forfeiture of expected benefits, and the depletion or complete loss of their retirement savings. Wesselt was reportedly registered with Sterne Agee from 2002 until 2014.
May 2017- Sterne Agee Sales Director Deborah Kelley Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sterne Agee National Sales Director pled guilty in May 2017 for participating in a scheme to purportedly bribe Navnoor Kang, head of portfolio strategy for the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the nation’s third-largest public pension fund.
From 2014 to 2016, Kelley, then a managing director of sales at Sterne Agee, allegedly schemed with another investment firm salesman to bribe Kang. In return, Kang allegedly steered $2 billion in pension fund investments to their brokerages, earning them millions of dollars in commissions, according to a federal grand jury indictment in New York.
Investigating Potential Claims
All broker-dealers have a responsibility to adequately supervise its employees. They must ensure the necessary procedures and systems to detect misconduct. Brokerage firms that fail to monitor the business activities of their employees may be liable for investment losses due to negligent supervision for the misconduct of their employees.
When brokers violate securities laws, such as making unsuitable investments, the brokerage firm they are working with may be liable for investment losses through FINRA Arbitration.
Free Consultation with a Securities Attorney
The foregoing information, which is all publicly available, is being provided by The White Law Group. The White Law Group is a national securities arbitration, securities fraud, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois.
If you have concerns regarding investments you purchased through Sterne Agee Financial Services and would like to speak with a securities attorney, please call The White Law Group at 888-637-5510.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.