Andrew Bruce Elsoffer of Pepper Pike, Ohio, a stockbroker formerly registered with Stifel Nicolaus Company Incorporated, has been fined $15,000.00 and suspended for two years from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on findings that he engaged in unauthorized trading, loaned funds to a Stifel Nicolaus customer, and falsified information to FINRA when under investigation. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent No. 2018060469601 (February 25, 2022).
According to the AWC, between February 14, 2012, and October 15, 2018, at least 2,800 transactions were made by Elsoffer in five customers’ accounts. The customers were aware of the trades, but they did not provide written authorization to Elsoffer to make discretionary trades. The AWC states that Elsoffer was not authorized by Stifel Nicolaus to make discretionary trades in those accounts. Elsoffer violated FINRA Rule 2010 and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rule 2510(b).
The AWC also states that Elsoffer loaned money to a Stifel Nicolaus customer when Elsoffer was prohibited from loaning money. Elsoffer was disallowed from loaning funds to customers or borrowing money from them unless the firm authorized it. The AWC states that someone unrelated to Elsoffer borrowed money from him between May 15, 2018, and June 30, 2018. Elsoffer did not inform Stifel Nicolaus about this, violating FINRA Rules 2010 and 3240.
On December 7, 2018, Elsoffer was asked to provide a statement that concerned the basis of his termination from Stifel Nicolaus. FINRA sought to determine whether Elsoffer violated the firm’s policy. Elsoffer initially misrepresented information about the checks, violating FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.
Elsoffer has been identified in eight customer initiated investment related disputes regarding allegations of his wrongdoing while employed by securities broker dealers, including Stifel Nicolaus and Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner Smith Inc. FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that a customer initiated investment related complaint regarding Elsoffer’s activities was resolved for $6,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of unsuitable trading at Merrill Lynch.
Elsoffer is referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint where the customer sought $42,000.00 in damages supported by accusations that unauthorized transactions were executed in the customer’s account by Elsoffer when he was registered with Merrill Lynch. Another customer initiated investment related complaint concerning Elsoffer’s conduct was settled to resolve allegations of excessive trading of mutual funds in the customer’s Merrill Lynch account.
Elsoffer is also identified in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $75,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that Elsoffer gave the customer unsuitable advice concerning the trading of common and preferred stock while Elsoffer was employed by Merrill Lynch.
Elsoffer is the subject of a different customer initiated investment related FINRA arbitration claim which was settled for $165,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of negligence, fraud, and breach of contract relating to Elsoffer’s stock trades in the customer’s Stifel Nicolaus account. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-00622 (October 27, 2016). According to the claim, the customer sustained damages from elder abuse and breach of fiduciary duty. The claim also alleges misrepresentations and unsuitable transactions concerning over-the-counter equities and common and preferred stock.
On October 9, 2018, an additional customer initiated investment related arbitration claim involving Elsoffer’s conduct was resolved for $60,000.00 in damages. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-00885 (October 9, 2018). Elsoffer was accused of effecting unsuitable transactions in the customer’s account during the time that Elsoffer was associated with Stifel Nicolaus.
Elsoffer is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer sought $250,000.00 in damages supported by accusations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud in regard to Elsoffer’s stock trading in the customer’s Stifel Nicolaus account. FINRA Arbitration No. 20-00655 (February 27, 2020).
On September 11, 2020, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim regarding Elsoffer’s activities was settled for $14,999.00 in damages founded on allegations of unsuitable and unauthorized stock trades by Elsoffer when he was registered with Stifel Nicolaus. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-01995. The claim alleges the violation of Ohio’s securities laws and the breach of both a contract and fiduciary duty to the customer. According to the claim, Stifel Nicolaus caused the customer’s damages through its negligence and failure to supervise.
Elsoffer was discharged by Stifel Nicolaus on October 16, 2018, based on accusations identified in customer disputes and on Elsoffer violating policy relating to customer funds.