Improper Mutual Fund Fees Lead to Reimbursement Order Against Brokerage Firms

Edward Jones, Stifel Nicolaus & Co, Janney Montgomery Scott, Axa Advisors, and Stephens Inc., Ordered to Reimburse Clients for Allegedly Improper Mutual Fund Fee Charges

Five broker-dealers were ordered to reimburse clients a total of $18.4 million, of allegedly improper mutual fund fee charges, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) documents under review by Peiffer Rosca Wolf attorneys. Edward Jones was ordered to pay $13.5 million, Stifel Nicolaus & Co., $2.9 million, Janney Montgomery Scott, $1.2 million, Axa Advisors, $600,000 and Stephens Inc., $150,000.

Edward Jones, Stifel Nicolaus & Co., Janney Montgomery Scott, Axa Advisors, and Stephens Inc., allegedly “unreasonably relied on financial advisers to waive charges” for investors without training financial advisers, according to FINRA charges, available here.  The five broker-dealers also allegedly failed to provide those individuals with the correct information on how to properly waive charges.

Broker-Dealers allegedly charged improper fees.

The broker-dealers allegedly charged clients improper fees for mutual funds, according to FINRA documents. Allegedly, these firms made mutual funds available through retail platforms and failed to offer certain investors waivers for some upfront sales charges on Class A shares. In other instances, the investors were allegedly put into the wrong share classes, and investors were allegedly subjected to improper charges.

The FINRA documents under review by Peiffer Rosca Wolf attorneys allege that the broker-dealers’ misconduct goes back as early as July 2009. The documents further allege that the mutual funds that Edward Jones, Stifel Nicolaus & Co., Janney Montgomery Scott, Axa Advisors, and Stephens Inc.,  made available through their retail platforms adversely affected investors who were not afforded the full benefit of available sales charge waivers.

Investor Rights Lawyers Investigating

The Peiffer Rosca Wolf securities attorneys often represent investors who lose money as a result of Ponzi schemes, investment fraud, or stockbroker misconduct. They are currently investigating the possibility of assisting investors with the recovery of any losses. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.

Investors who believe they lost money as a result of investment fraud or misconduct may contact the securities lawyers at Peiffer Rosca, Alan Rosca or Joe Peiffer, for a free, no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 888-998-0520.

Alan Rosca (1123 Posts)

Alan is a securities lawyer. He also teaches Securities Regulation at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He focuses his legal practice on complex commercial and financial litigation and arbitration, particularly in the areas of securities and investment fraud. His office is in Cleveland, Ohio.


In our legal system, every person is innocent until and unless found guilty by a court of law or a tribunal. Whenever we reference “allegations” or charges that are “alleged,” such allegations or charges have not been proven, and are merely accusations, not findings of fault, as of the date of the blog. We do not have, nor do we undertake, a duty to continue to monitor or follow cases about which we report, and/or to publish subsequent blogs regarding various developments that may occur in such cases. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research regarding any such cases and any developments that may or may not have occurred in such cases.