Paul Steffany of Stamford, Connecticut submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC) to the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly falsifying documents and converting funds for his own personal use. Mr. Steffany entered the securities industry in October 1982. In 2007 Mr. Steffany became associated with FINRA through broker-dealer Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (Raymond James) as a general securities representative (GSR). In May 2014 Mr. Steffany was terminated from Raymond James after violating company policy.
While associated with Raymond James, Mr. Steffany served as the trustee of a testamentary trust established by an estate customer. As the trustee, Mr. Steffany was responsible for paying legal bills, signing tax returns and distributing funds to the beneficiaries of the trust. Mr. Steffany estimated that he spent no more than 43 hours annually dealing with trust related matters.
FINRA alleged that while associated with Raymond James, Mr. Steffany wrote himself checks from the trust to compensate for his services. Mr. Steffany allegedly forged the signature of his co-executor on twelve checks and deposited them in an account held outside Rayomd James. In 2013, FINRA found that Mr. Steffany paid himself an excess of $30,000 and an excess of $40,000 in 2013. FINRA claimed that between 2007 and 2014, Mr. Steffany, converted at least $112,742 that were excessive and inconsistent with the limited nature of his duties. Upon FINRA and Raymond James launching an investigation, Mr. Steffany refunded $112,742 and resigned as the trustee.
FINRA found that Mr. Steffany, from January 2007 through Aril 2014, violated FINRA Conduct Rules 2010, 2110, and 2330. FINRA alleged that Mr. Steffany forged the signature of a co-executor on at least 12 checks. FINRA further alleged that Mr. Steffany used the converted funds for his own personal use. Without admitting or denying the FINRA finding, Mr. Steffany agreed to the FINRA sanctions and was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.
Stockbrokers have been known to engage in many types of practices which violate industry and firm rules, practices, and procedures. In order to protect customers from stockbroker misconduct, FINRA rules require broker-dealers such as Raymond James & Associates to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. The implementation of the rules require supervisors to monitor employees to ensure they comply with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, and the firm, such as Raymond James & Associates own policies and procedures. If broker dealers and/or their supervisors do not establish and implement these protective measures, they may be liable to investors for damages which flow from the misconduct. As a result, investors who have suffered losses because of their stockbroker’s unlawful or prohibited conduct can file a claim to recover damages against broker dealers like Raymond James & Associates, which should consistently oversee its employees in order to prevent stockbroker misconduct.
Have you suffered losses in your Raymond James & Associates investment account due to your stockbroker’s misconduct? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against stockbrokers for unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, and/or other unauthorized and prohibited conduct.
The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over 35 years, Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities, and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, send Mr. Pearce an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or visit our website at www.secatty.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.