Stoltmann Law Offices, a boutique securities, investment, and consumer fraud law firm in Chicago, has represented victims of fraud and Ponzi schemes since 2005, recovering tens of millions of dollars for out clients and restoring their financial security and freedom. On September 9, 2022, it was reported that an Ameriprise financial advisor, Dusty Lynn Sternadel, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA for failing to cooperate with FINRA’s requests for information in connection with an investigation launched by the regulator. The investigation stemmed from a regulatory filing made by Ameriprise wherein it stated it had terminated Sternadel for cause “for violation of company policies for misappropriation of client funds.”
The FINRA investigation into Sternadel did not get very far because she refused to cooperate with the regulator. When financial advisors fail to cooperate with a FINRA investigation, FINRA Rule 8210 provides FINRA with the authority to essentially end the advisor’s career. The penalty for not cooperating with the regulatory investigation is harsh and brokers like Sternadel know this, yet she chose to take the lifetime ban instead of cooperate. The FINRA AWC states that FINRA sent Sternadel a request to testify and produce documents, and that on August 30, 2022, during a phone call, Sternadel stated she would not cooperate or appear and understood the penalty for her refusal.
The Ameriprise disclosure regarding her termination is very vague, yet combined with the FINREA action, is disconcerting. According to the Ameriprise filing, Sternadel was terminated for cause for misappropriating (converting) client funds. Neither the Ameriprise termination notice nor the FINRA AWC state how much money was allegedly misappropriated or from how many Ameriprise customers. There are no customer complaints disclosed yet on Sternadel’s FINRA Broker/Check Report.
Victims of rote fraud like misappropriation, have legal rights and claims to pursue against both the individual responsible for the theft and the brokerage firm he or she was licensed with at the time. Firms like Ameriprise have strict regulatory and legal obligations to supervise the conduct of their brokers. Preventing advisors from stealing client money is a primary purpose behind these supervisory requirements. Stoltmann Law Offices has nearly twenty-year’s experience dealing with firms like Ameriprise and recovering money either stolen or lost in schemes as a result of negligent investment advice or fraud.
If you are the victim or investment fraud, please contact Stoltmann Law Offices, P.C., at 312-332-4200, for a free, no-obligation consultation with a securities lawyer. We represent victims of investment fraud nationwide through arbitration and litigation on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid until you do.