Finra Bars 43-Year Broker Accused of Taking Stifel Client’s Money
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has permanently barred a broker who Stifel Nicolaus fired in January for allegedly taking money from a client account without authorization.
Rodemer initially cooperated, but in March his lawyer told Finra that he would stop doing so. His refusal to cooperate violated Finra rule 8210 requiring cooperation and testimony, as well as its broad-reaching rule 2010 requiring brokers and their firms to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade, according to the document.
Stifel accused Rodemer in its January 21 regulatory dismissal form of taking “money from a client account for his personal use without authorization,” according to the consent letter and to his BrokerCheck record.
The broker, who agreed to the sanction without admitting or denying the findings, could not be reached for comment. His Denver-based lawyer, Stephen Csajaghy, did not respond to requests for comment.
The temptation to pull back from a Finra investigation and reach a settlement is strong because evidence in a regulatory probe of a potential criminal act could provoke a state or other prosecutor to investigate. On-the-record Finra testimony is effectively an under-oath deposition in a circumstance where theft or other criminal activity occurs, lawyers said.
“There’s a statutory bar from being employed by any Finra member firm, but you’re also not incriminating yourself by making a statement that authorities could potentially use to criminally prosecute you,” said Thomas Lewis, an employment law litigator at Stevens & Lee in Princeton, N.J., who was not involved in the Rodemer case.
The fact that Finra accepted Rodemer’s consent letter last Thursday also illustrates that the wheels of regulatory justice continue to whirr despite the operational obstacles of work-from-home and other coronavirus procedures.
“The rules apply and the rules are going to be enforced,” Lewis said.
Rodemer began his brokerage career in 1976 with Investors Diversified Services, a predecessor to Ameriprise, and had only one other mark on his BrokerCheck record—a $17,000 settlement of a $50,000 fiduciary duty breach complaint in 1984 when he was with E.F. Hutton.