There are options for clients of barred former Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated broker Joseph Pratt (CRD# 719416) who suffered investment losses. Pratt was registered with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania from 2014 to 2019, when he was terminated regarding, “Discharged after signing a letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent which included a bar from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.” Previously, Pratt was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in Wayne, Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2014, when he was terminated regarding, “Mr. Pratt voluntarily resigned from Wells Fargo advisors concurrent with the firm’s review of Mr. Pratt’s relationship with two outside companies, and certain clients investing in a private investment not associated with Wells Fargo. The firm’s review of this matter was not prompted by a client complaint.”
In September 2019, Pratt was barred by FINRA after he consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he “obtained confidential information that he received from insiders at a public biopharmaceutical company, and misused the confidential information by communicating it to several of his member firm’s customers. The findings stated that Pratt knew the company’s insiders, including a director, a member of the company’s scientific advisory board, and a doctor involved in the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trials. On numerous occasions, Pratt failed to disclose these relationships to his firm as required. The company sent the firm a letter stating that Pratt had been attempting to obtain confidential information from several company insiders. In response, the firm prohibited Pratt from speaking with the company’s employees. Despite this prohibition, Pratt continued to seek information from the company. In response to Pratt’s inquiries, the company’s insiders sent Pratt documents and emails containing confidential information concerning its ongoing FDA clinical trials, including patient data from the trial, newly discovered data that the company felt warranted a patent, and a confidential timeline of upcoming FDA filings. The findings also stated that although Pratt received approval to make a one-time personal investment in a speculative company, he did not provide his firm with prior written notice or obtain prior approval for his subsequent personal investments totaling $119,000 in shares of the company away from the firm. Additionally, Pratt failed to provide prior written notice or obtain prior approval for his solicitation of investors in the private securities transactions in the company. Pratt solicited the individuals, of whom included his firm’s customers, to invest approximately $436,000 in shares of the company.”
Pratt has been the subject of three customer complaints between 2009 and 2020, according to his CRD report. The most recent complaints are regarding:
- June 2020. “Claimant alleges violation of Florida Securities and Investor Protection Act, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and violation of FINRA Rules 2010, 2020, 2111.” The customer is seeking $232,000 in damages and the case is currently pending. The complaint took place while Pratt was registered with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated and was regarding mutual funds and common and preferred stocks.
- November 2017. “Client alleges FA placed accounts in high risk stocks even though she asked that they not be invested in anything that could lose money. (12/1/2009-12/31/2015).” The customer sought $62,021.01 in damages and the case was settled for $20,000. The complaint took place while Pratt was registered with Wells Fargo Advisors and was regarding foreign equity.
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 Pratt’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.