Former Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated financial advisor Andrew Elsoffer (CRD# 2580009) is alleged to recommend unsuitable high risk energy investments. Elsoffer was registered with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated in Pepper Pike, Ohio from 2011 until November 2018. Previously, Elsoffer was registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in Pepper Pike, Ohio from 1995 to 2011, when he was terminated regarding, “Failure to follow management directives and violation of firm policy including exercising time and price discretion in client accounts and mismarking order tickets.”
Over the past few years, oil prices have significantly declined. A supply glut in 2014 and 2015 led to some of the lowest prices the market has seen in recent years. In turn, securities values also dropped, including the values of Linn Energy. The volatile energy sector experienced significant turmoil, and many energy companies were negatively impacted when global crude oil prices fell below $40 per barrel at the end of 2015. This was the lowest level since early 2009, as supply was in excess of global demand. Oil and gas companies experienced a spike in bankruptcies, which have left many investors reeling.
It is alleged that Elsoffer recommended his clients investment in Linn Energy. Linn Energy was an oil and natural gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas. When global crude oil prices dropped, Linn Energy accrued significant debt. According to the company, Linn Energy, LLC filed a voluntary petition for restructuring under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in May 2016 to alleviate itself of $6.06 billion in debt. In February 2017, LINN Energy, Inc. was formed as the reorganized successor to Linn Energy, LLC.
Elsoffer has been the subject of six customer complaints between 2002 and 2018, one of which was denied, according to his CRD report. Recent claimants are regarding:
- March 2016. “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.” The customer sought $2,250,000 in damages and the case was settled for $165,000.
- February 2016. “Client alleges losses resulting from unsuitable investments. 5/2/13 through 9/18/15.” The customer sought $287,705.22 in damages and the case settled for $60,000.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Elsoffer’s customers.
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