INVESTORS: Former Stifel, Nicolaus & Company broker Andrew Bruce Elsoffer was suspended by FINRA following allegations that he exercised discretion in customer accounts without prior written authorization.
Andrew Bruce Elsoffer (CRD: 2580009) was registered as a broker with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company from 2011 until 2018. Previously, Elsoffer was registered as a broker with Merrill Lynch from 1995 until 2011.
Elsoffer has eleven disclosures on his BrokerCheck report. One customer dispute filed against Elsoffer was denied.
February 2022 Regulatory Judgment
Initiated By: FINRA
Allegations: Without admitting or denying the findings, Elsoffer consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he exercised discretion without written authorization in customer accounts. The findings stated that although the customers understood that Elsoffer was conducting trading in their accounts, none of them provided prior written authorization for him to exercise discretion in their accounts. In addition, Elsoffer’s member firm did not accept these accounts as discretionary. The findings also stated that Elsoffer assisted his firm customer, who was a close friend but not an immediate family member, with renovating his home at a time when the customer was unable to oversee the renovations himself. He loaned the customer a total of $13,703 to pay to the contractors renovating the home. The customer then reimbursed Elsoffer via three checks totaling $2,703 drawn on his firm account and two checks totaling $11,000 drawn on his bank account. Elsoffer did not disclose or seek prior approval from the firm for the loans. The findings also included that Elsoffer initially provided false information to FINRA. FINRA requested that Elsoffer provide a signed statement addressing his termination from the firm and allegations that he had violated firm policy. In Elsoffer’s written response, he misrepresented that all check writing was done from the customer’s firm account. FINRA later asked Elsoffer whether, in addition to the three checks written from the firm account, the customer had written Elsoffer additional checks from any bank accounts and if so, to provide all supporting documentation. In his written response, Elsoffer misrepresented that no other checks existed. Elsoffer later corrected his prior misstatements by producing personal bank statements and two additional cancelled checks drawn on the customer’s bank account totaling $11,000.
Resolution: Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC)
Sanctions: Civil and Administrative Penalty(ies)/Fine(s)
Registration Capacities Affected: All Capacities
Duration: Two years
Start Date: 3/7/2022
End Date: 3/6/2024
February 2020 Customer Dispute
Allegations: Claimants allege common law fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
Damage Amount Requested: $250,000.00
Settlement Amount: $20,000.00
July 2019 Customer Dispute
Allegations: Claimants allege negligence, failure to supervise, suitability, unauthorized trading, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of the Ohio securities laws.
Damage Amount Requested: $100,000.00
Settlement Amount: $14,999.00
September 2020 Employment Separation After Allegations
Firm Name: Stifel Nicolaus
Termination Type: Discharged
Allegations: Loss of confidence following the settlement of an arbitration and violation of the firm’s policy prohibiting receipt of customer funds into an employee’s account. The customer has not complained and the firm has found no evidence of wrongful taking of client property.
March 2016 Customer Dispute
Allegations: Claimants allege securities fraud, common law fraud and misrepresentation, unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, elder abuse and exploitation, breach of contract, gross negligence, and negligence.
Damage Amount Requested: $2,250,000.00
Settlement Amount: $165,000.00
February 2016 Customer Dispute
Allegations: Client alleges losses resulting from unsuitable investments. 5/2/13 through 9/18/15
Damage Amount Requested: $287,705.22
Settlement Amount: $60,000.00
Broker Comment: Original complaint denied 2/25/2016
October 2011 Employment Separation After Allegations
Firm Name: Merrill Lynch
Termination Type: Discharged
Allegations: Failure to follow management directives and violation of firm policy including exercising time and price discretion in client accounts and mismarking order tickets.
August 2009 Customer Dispute
Allegations: The customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations.
Damage Amount Requested: $446,000.00
Settlement Amount: $75,000.00
February 2005 Customer Dispute
Allegations: Customer alleges FA made excessive trades.
Damage Amount Requested: $12,000.00
Settlement Amount: $2,520.00
Broker Comment: Matter settled to avoid a lengthy and costly arbitration proceeding.
September 2002 Customer Dispute
Allegations: The clients allege that their professionally managed accounts were not suitable. Damages not specified.
Settlement Amount: $6,000.00
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