Five Firms Ordered to Pay $18 Million over Mutual FundsAccording to Investment News, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has ordered five broker-dealer firms to pay customers $18.4 million as reimbursement for improper mutual fund fees.
The firms in question include Edward Jones, Stifel Nicolaus, Janney Montgomery Scott, AXA Advisors, and Stephens, Incorporated. Edward Jones has been ordered to pay $13.5 million; Stifel Nicolaus has been ordered to pay $2.9 million; Janney Montgomery Scott has been ordered to pay $1.2 million; AXA Advisors has been ordered to pay $600,000; and Stephens, Inc. has been ordered to pay $150,000.
According to FINRA, the firms in question have offered certain mutual funds to their clients since as early as July 2009, but “failed to offer these investors — charity and retirement accounts — waivers that they were due for some upfront sales charges on Class A shares. In other instances, the investors were put into the wrong share classes, which subjected them to charges they should not have been assessed.”
This is not the first time FINRA has issued such orders. Earlier this year it required LPL Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Raymond James to pay a total of $30 million for similar violations. Wells Fargo Advisors paid an addition $7 million to other accounts. In total, these eight firms will reimburse $55 million to approximately 75,000 charities and requirement accounts.
According to a statement by FINRA executive vice president Brad Bennett, “These actions are further evidence of our commitment to pursue substantial restitution for adversely affected mutual fund investors who were not afforded the full benefit of available sales charge waivers.”
If you have lost money investing in mutual funds and/or with Edward Jones, Stifel Nicolaus, Janney Montgomery Scott, AXA Advisors, or Stephens, you may be able to recoup your losses.  Call the securities and investment fraud law firm Fitapelli Kurta at 877-238-4175 for a free consultation. All cases are taken on contingency: Fitapelli Kurta only gets paid if and when you collect funds.  Time to file your claim may be limited, so we encourage you to avoid delay. Call 877-238-4175 now to speak to an attorney for free.