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Stifel, Nicolaus Broker Michael Yanow Barred for Conversion of Customer Funds

Mitchell Toby Yanow (Yanow) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (“AWC”) pursuant to FINRA Rule 9216 of FINRA’s Code of Procedure to settle allegations he used blank checks from an elderly customer and deposited the funds in his personal account. As a result, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Yanow from the financial industry for life.

Yanow (FINRA CRD No. 2148171) entered the financial industry in 1991 as a general securities representative. From 2005 to 2008, Yanow worked for Wachovia Securities, LLC. From 2008 to 2015, Yanow worked for Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. During the relevant time period, Yanow worked for Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel Nicolaus”). Yanow is no longer associated with any FINRA member; however, he remains subject to FINRA’s disciplinary powers.

FINRA’s Department of Enforcement investigated Yanow and alleged he stole money from an elderly client. In or around July 2017, an 87-year-old Stifel Nicolaus customer gave Yanow blank checks drawn on the customer’s brokerage account so that Yanow could pay the customer’s caregivers. FINRA alleged Yanow used the blank checks to steal about $205,000 of the customer’s funds from the Stifel Nicolaus account. Yanow apparently used the funds to pay for his own personal expenses without the customer’s knowledge or consent.

Based upon the foregoing misconduct, FINRA alleged Yanow violated FINRA Rule 2010. For example, “[i]t is well established that conversion violates the ‘high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade’ required by FINRA Rule 2010.’” Here, Yanow’s fraudulent act of stealing the customer’s funds was not just and equitable.

Lufrano Law, LLC is a national investment litigation firm and has experience representing investors who have investment disputes with brokers and broker-dealers. Please contact us at (800) 627-2179 for more information if you have been the victim of investment negligence or fraud.

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