In 2004, the SEC fined Raymond James $6.9 million for failure to supervise former broker Dennis Herula. Herula was accused of participating with others in a Ponzi scheme that raised about $44.5 million from investors in 1999-2000. Herula himself raised about $16.5 million of investor funds, most of which was later transferred to his wife's brokerage account at Raymond James. He was arrested in Bermuda and pleaded guilty to criminal charges of wire fraud and sentenced to 188 months in jail.
--Supervision of branch managers--
In 2005, the National Association of Securities Dealers fined Raymond James $2.75 million for lax supervision of producing branch managers. The investigation began with one Raymond James manager, who worked from an office in her Wisconsin home, handling approximately 700 accounts and selling mainly mutual funds and variable annuities. The Wisconsin manager was accused of selling unsuitable aggressive mutual funds and variable annuities over a four-year period.
--Auction rate securities--
On June 29, 2011, Raymond James announced an agreement to repurchase at par auction rate securities (ARS) sold to clients through its domestic broker/dealer subsidiaries prior to February 13, 2008. The agreement—reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission and with state securities regulators led by Florida and Texas—resolved more than three years of investigation related to activity in the ARS market. Without admitting or denying the allegations, the firm also agreed to pay a fine totaling $1.75 million to the state regulators, but was not fined by the SEC.
As a result of this agreement, a pre-tax charge of $45 million was recorded in the quarter ending June 30, 2011. This charge was primarily a result of an estimate of the current fair value of the securities to be repurchased by Raymond James being less than their par value. It is expected that the ultimate realized loss will be substantially less as issuer