Erez Law is currently investigating former Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. financial advisor James Cox (CRD# 2365633) regarding churning in customer accounts. Churning is an improper and unethical practice that occurs when a broker excessively trades in a client’s account to generate commissions.
Cox was registered with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 2015 to 2017, when he was terminated following “Lack of confidence after settlement of customer complaint and nondisclosure of outside business activity.” Previously, he was registered with Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from from 2009 to 2015.
In June 2017, Cox was suspended by FINRA for four months and sanctioned to $10,000 in civil and administrative penalties and fines after, “Cox consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he recommended unsuitable annuity transactions to a customer and received net commissions of $25,460 in connection with the exchange. The findings stated that Cox failed to provide prior written notice of an outside business activity to his member firm when he charged the customer $2,500 for consulting services that he provided in connection with the construction of a modular office building for the customer’s medical practice,” according to the Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC). These activities took while while Cox was employed with Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc.
Cox has been the subject of four customer complaints between 2009 and 2014, according to his CRD report:
- November 2014. “Customer applied for two annuities to replace older annuities in September of 2014 and in late November told rep that she was misled and wanted old annuities back.” The case was settled for $480,000.
- July 2014. “Plaintiff alleges that representative failed to monitor his account and invested his assets in unsuitable investments.” The customer is seeking $5,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- June 2012. “Claimants allege that when husband retired in December of 2007, the representatives recommended that claimants invest the majority of their assets in speculative stocks, mutual funds and non-traded REITs despite their low risk tolerance. Allegations include unsuitability, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.” The customer sought $800,000 in damages and the case was settled for $25,000.
- October 2009. “Complainant alleges rep made negligent misrepresentations and breached fiduciary duties in the sale of CDs.” The case is currently pending.
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, Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Cox’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against former Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. financial advisor James Cox, who is alleged to churn in customer accounts. If you were a client of former Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. or another firm, 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.