The White Law Group reviews the regulatory history of SA Stone Wealth Management.
SA Stone Wealth Management (CRD# 18456) is a registered broker-dealer headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. According to FINRA, the self-regulator that oversees brokers and brokerage firms, SA Stone has 12 disclosures on its broker record including 8 regulatory events, and 4 arbitrations. The firm was formerly known as Sterne Agee Financial Services.
Regulatory actions taken against a broker-dealer can have serious consequences for their profile and reputation. They may include censures, fines, suspensions or restitution among others.
Arbitrations on a broker-dealers CRD (Central Registration Depository) refer to the resolution of disputes between a broker-dealer and a client or between broker-dealers themselves through the FINRA arbitration process. When a client or another broker-dealer files a complaint against a broker-dealer, the complaint may be resolved through arbitration, which is a process where an independent third party (the arbitrator) hears both sides of the dispute and makes a binding decision.
FINRA Sanctions SA Stone Wealth (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 Sterne 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
There have been several cases of registered representatives employed by SA Stone Wealth – Sterne Agee Financial Services, who were allegedly involved in broker misconduct and fraudulent activities.
October 2022, FINRA suspended and fined an SA Stone advisor in Salina, Kansas for participating in private securities transactions without providing written receiving approval from his member firm. These transactions involved investments by at least 59 individuals in a company that purported to own software development and blockchain technology businesses. The SA Stone advisor reportedly discussed the private placement offering of the company’s common stock with the individuals, told them that he intended to invest in the company’s private placement, introduced the individuals to the company’s founder, and invited the individuals to meetings that he hosted, where the founder delivered presentations regarding the company’s business and the private placement. Subsequently, the individuals, approximately 34 of whom were firm customers, invested approximately $1,475,000 in the company’s stock. The advisor was suspended for one year and fined $10,000 for the alleged misconduct. The advisor, who was affiliated with the firm for sixteen years, reportedly has three customer complaints on his record.
May 2017- S. A. Stone Wealth 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.
FINRA Rule 3110 Supervision
The FINRA supervision rule (FINRA Rule 3110) helps to ensure that firms have effective supervisory systems in place to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities markets.
FINRA Rule 3110 is designed to protect investors by requiring firms to establish and maintain a supervisory system that is reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws, regulations, and FINRA rules. This helps to ensure that the firm and its associated persons conduct business in an ethical and compliant manner, reducing the risk of harm to investors.
The rule requires firms to designate one or more qualified individuals to be responsible for supervising the activities of the firm and its associated persons. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that the firm’s supervisory procedures are effective in detecting and preventing violations of securities laws and regulations.
Additionally, the rule requires firms to establish written supervisory procedures that are reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws, regulations, and FINRA rules. These procedures should cover all aspects of the firm’s business, including customer interactions, trading activities, and record-keeping requirements.
Firms must also review and monitor customer account activity to detect and prevent potential violations, and conduct periodic inspections of the firm’s offices and other locations where business is conducted.
By requiring firms to establish and maintain an effective supervisory system, FINRA Rule 3110 helps to ensure that investors are protected from fraudulent and unethical behavior. This can help to maintain investor confidence in the securities markets, which is essential for the long-term health and stability of the financial system.
FINRA Arbitration for Investment Losses
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.
If your broker has defrauded you, you may be able to file a claim with FINRA to seek resolution through arbitration.
FINRA arbitration can be a complex and technical process, and having an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about securities law can greatly increase your chances of success.
A securities attorney, such as those at the White Law Group, can help you with many aspects of the arbitration process including evaluating the merits of your claim and determining whether you have a strong case for arbitration.
Your attorney can assist you in drafting a statement of claim that accurately reflects the allegations of fraud and the damages you are seeking. They will also represent you at the arbitration hearing, present evidence and make arguments on your behalf. They can also negotiate a settlement on your behalf, which may be an option to consider before going to arbitration.
Working with a securities attorney can help ensure that your interests are protected throughout the FINRA arbitration process, and that you have the best possible chance of achieving a favorable outcome.
Keep in mind, FINRA arbitration is generally a faster and less expensive alternative to a traditional court proceeding.
National FINRA Arbitration Attorneys – the White Law Group
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm dedicated to helping investors in claims in all 50 states against their financial professional or brokerage firm. Since the firm launched in 2010, it has handled over 700 FINRA arbitration cases.
Our firm represents investors in all types of securities related claims, including claims involving stock fraud, broker misrepresentation, churning, unsuitable investments, selling away, and unauthorized trading, among many others.
With over 30 years of securities law experience, The White Law Group has the expertise to help investors defrauded in securities, investment and financial business transactions attempt to recover their investment losses.
The White Law Group has offices in Seattle, Washington and Chicago, Illinois, and reviews securities fraud cases throughout the country.
If you have concerns regarding investments you purchased through SA Stone Wealth Management (Sterne Agee Financial) 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 whitesecuritieslaw.com.
Tags: broker-dealer review, Deborah Kelley, SA Stone wealth, Sterne Agee Financial Services Last modified: May 16, 2023