FINRA rejects wrongful termination claim by former Raymond James broker

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | Firm Transition

A panel of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrators ruled against a former broker for Raymond James & Associates in his wrongful termination and defamation claim, AdvisorHub reports.

Matthew R. Stucke, who worked in Raymond James’ Alpharetta, Georgia office, filed a complaint after being discharged from the firm in 2020. He accused Raymond James and two other brokers of a conspiracy to fire him without cause “as a pretext for stealing his book of business.” He also said the firm attempted to make him liable for a trade error caused by the company’s own negligence. Stucke was seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as expungement of the matter from his record.

But in rejecting Stucke’s claims, the panel of FINRA arbitrators found Raymond James had provided a truthful and accurate reason for firing him. Stucke’s Central Registration Depository record reflects that he was discharged for violating firm policies in his email communications with clients, “including emails providing clients with limited-distribution investment material without firm approval.”

The arbitrators ordered Stucke to pay $1,138,818 in compensatory damages for two up front loan agreements he had with Raymond James, along with $355,618 in attorneys’ fees as well as other additional costs and hearing session fees. Raymond James had filed a counterclaim in October 2020 requesting that Stucke pay back the loans. His claims against the other two brokers were dismissed.

Stucke is now with Cetera Advisor Networks.

Any firm that terminates a registered representative is required to file a Form U5 explaining the reason behind the termination. When the termination is improper, the Form U5 is usually false and defamatory. As a boutique law firm focusing exclusively on securities law and the financial services industry, Lewitas Hyman can provide close, comprehensive counsel from attorneys with decades of industry and regulatory experience if you were wrongfully or illegally terminated. Contact us at (844) 651-2643 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.

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