FINRA Complaint: Wisconsin Broker William Mielke Allegedly Churned Investments

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Wisconsin based Stifel Nicolaus & Company broker William Mielke (CRD# 1219765) is embroiled in a pending customer dispute alleging he engaged in unauthorized trading. According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck report, accessed on March 17, 2022, Mr. Mielke is based out of the firm’s branch office in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Complaint Alleges Churning, Unauthorized Trading

FINRA records describe one pending customer complaint involving Mr. Mielke. Filed in January 2022, the complaint alleges he churned investments and made unauthorized trades involving stocks, mutual funds, and options. The customer is seeking unspecified damages.

Older Customer Complaints Ended in Settlements

Mr. Mielke’s BrokerCheck report also includes three customer complaints that reached settlements between the firms and claimants. Filed between 2001 and 2003, the complaints detail allegations of unsuitable investment recommendations, intentional and negligent misrepresentations of material facts, omissions of material facts, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and unauthorized transactions. The complaints settled according to FINRA.

FINRA Rules Forbid Unauthorized Trading and Churning

The pending customer complaint disclosed on Mr. Mielke’s BrokerCheck report alleges two common forms of broker misconduct. Generally speaking, three FINRA rules prohibit unauthorized trading. FINRA Rule 2010, for instance, stipulates that brokers must observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trades. FINRA Rule 3260, meanwhile, forbids brokers from exercising discretion in a customer’s account without first receiving the customer’s prior written authorization and the firm’s written approval for discretionary trading. Finally, FINRA Rule 2020 prohibits the use of “manipulative, deceptive, or other fraudulent device[s] or contrivance[s]” to effect or induce securities trades.

Churning, meanwhile, is a form of excessive trading in a customer’s account. In a 2020 podcast, FINRA’s deputy head of enforcement described churning “a more egregious variation of excessive trading.” Unlike excessive trading, in which a broker conducts a high volume trades to generate commissions for himself, churning was described as an act committed “either with an intent to defraud or with reckless disregard for the customer’s interests.” Both churning and excessive trading, to be clear, are considered violations of securities laws and rules.

Suing Your Financial Advisor

William Mielke Registered with Stifel in Green Bay, Wisconsin

William Mielke started working at Stifel Nicolaus & Company in 1999, operating out of the firm’s office in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Before joining the firm, he was registered as a broker with Robert W. Baird & Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1983 to 1999. FINRA records show that he has passed four securities industry exams and has 15 state licenses. For more information about his history in the securities industry, including the pending and settled customer complaints involving his conduct, visit his FINRA BrokerCheck report. (The above-referenced information was accessed on March 17, 2022.)

Did You Lose Money Investing?

To discuss whether you can file a FINRA arbitration case and recover your funds, call MDF Law at 800-767-8040 to speak with an attorney.

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