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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > FINRA

SEC Fines Ex-Stifel Rep Charged With Scamming Elderly Widow

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A former Stifel rep who was barred in March by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority from acting as a broker has now agreed to pay $385,536 to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle the SEC’s claim that he scammed an elderly client.

Stifel declined to comment on Tuesday. The ex-rep, Steven D. Rodemer, was registered with Stifel as a general securities representative and general securities principal from November 2011 until he was terminated by the firm Jan. 21, 2020, for taking “money from a client account for his personal use without authorization,” according to a FINRA letter of acceptance, waiver and consent he signed March 23, 2020.

FINRA barred Rodemer from the industry, saying he “refused to provide on-the-record testimony requested” by FINRA as part of an investigation, violating FINRA Rules 8210 and 2010.

Rodemer agreed to the settlement with the SEC on Thursday, the same day the SEC filed a complaint against him in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, claiming he “took advantage of his position as” the widowed client’s advisor and the “power of attorney authority she granted him, by misappropriating $451,889” of her funds.

“Rodemer used the funds for a variety of personal expenses, including to cover construction and maintenance costs on his vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado, to pay insurance premiums, to fund an undisclosed brokerage account in his wife’s name, to make credit card payments, and to pay for a number of other miscellaneous, everyday expenses like gas and groceries,” the SEC said in the complaint.

From at least March 2012 through December 2019, Rodemer served as the client’s advisor and handled all of her finances, including advising her on overall investment strategy and placing orders to execute that strategy, according to the complaint.

He also met with the client, identified only as “D.H.” in the complaint, to discuss her finances and “had the authority to and did move money between her bank and brokerage accounts,” the SEC said.

In addition to being barred from serving as a broker, Rodemer is no longer registered as an RIA, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. He was in the industry for 43 years. After a customer dispute that was settled in 1984, there was not another disclosure on his BrokerCheck report until he was discharged from Stifel this year.

Stephen Csajaghy, a partner at law firm Condit Csajaghy who represented Rodemer in his dispute with FINRA, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the SEC settlement.


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