Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Stephen Medina has Disclosed Six Customer Disputes

Stephen M. Medina (CRD: 2614773) is a registered broker and investment advisor with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated in Corpus Christi, TX.


Broker’s Background

He entered the securities industry in 1995 and has been registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated since then.


Current and Past Allegations of Conduct Leading to Investment Loss

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in September 2023, Stephen Medina became the subject of a customer dispute alleging, “misrepresentations and unsuitable investments between February 2022 and December 2022.” The damage amount requested is $782,500.00 and the customer dispute is still pending.


In addition, Stephen Medina has been the subject of five other customer disputes:

  • May 2018— “The Customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations from December 2017 until May 2018.” The customer dispute was denied.


  • June 2016— “The Customer alleges unsuitable investment recommendations, unauthorized trading and misrepresentation from April 2013 to August 2015.” The customer dispute settled for $270,000.00.


  • July 2003— “CLAIMANTS ALLEGED FINANCIAL ADVISOR MADE UNSUITABLE RECOMMENDATIONS AND INVESTMENTS.” The damage amount requested was $200,000 and the customer dispute settled for $400,000.




  • July 2002—“CUSTOMER ALLEGES UNSUITABILITY AND LACK OF DIVERSIFICATION.” The customer was awarded $43,394.00 in damages. For a copy of the arbitration details, click here.


For a copy of Stephen Medina’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.




We Help Investors Recover Investment Losses

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.


Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.


Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.


Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s age, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.


FINRA regulations require that a customer’s written authorization is required before a broker-dealer can carry out transactions in the customer’s account. In addition, the broker-dealer’s member firm needs to approve the broker-dealer’s authorization. These measures are intended to protect the customer. Discretionary trading allows the broker-dealer to unilaterally decide to buy or sell securities at any price and not have to check with the client first. Exercising discretion without authorization can be costly to investors, and broker-dealers and their member firms, too.


The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at (800) 931-8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.





Attorney Matthew Wolper

Attorney Matthew WolperMatt Wolper is a trial lawyer who focuses exclusively on securities litigation and arbitration. Mr. Wolper has handled hundreds of securities matters nationwide before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), JAMS, and in state and federal court. Mr. Wolper has handled and tried cases involving complex financial products and strategies ranging from traditional stocks and bonds to options, margin and other securities-based lending products, closed/open-end mutual funds, structured products, hedge funds, and penny stocks. [Attorney Bio]