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SEC Sues Stifel for Fraud Over Wisconsin School CDO Losses

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued broker Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. for fraud, claiming it misled five Wisconsin school districts about the risks of complex investments that wiped out $200 million.

Stifel and David Noack, a former executive, masked the risks in persuading the schools to buy notes tied to synthetic collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, a type of derivative linked to corporate bonds, the SEC said today in a complaint brought against the two in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee.