Capital Financial Sued For Breach Of Fiduciary Duty

Steven Roland Knuttila of Perham Minnesota a stockbroker formerly employed by Capital Financial Services Inc. is referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim where the customer sought more than $5,000.00 in estimated damages supported by accusations that (1) a contract had been violated (2) fiduciary obligations to the customer failed to be complied with and (3) oil and gas and mutual fund transactions ran afoul of federal securities laws. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 19-03117 (Oct. 28, 2019).

FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that Knuttila is referenced in forty more customer initiated investment related disputes that concern allegations of his violative conduct during the period in which he was employed by securities broker dealers including Questar Capital Corporation and Capital Financial Services Inc. Specifically, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim concerning Knuttila’s activities was resolved for $217,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that Capital Financial Services failed to supervise Knuttila’s real estate security, oil and gas, and equipment leasing investment transactions; fiduciary duties were breached; and the customer had been defrauded through Knuttila’s activities. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-04170 (Nov. 4, 2019).

Knuttila is the subject of another customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was settled for $21,320.76 in damages based upon allegations that fiduciary duties had been violated; contractual obligations to the customer were breached; and oil and gas transactions executed by the stockbroker failed to be suitable. FINRA Arbitration No. 18-04382 (Apr. 4, 2019). In addition, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim concerning Knuttila’s conduct was resolved for $80,491.86 in damages supported by accusations that inappropriate alternative investments including oil and gas and real estate security products had been sold; and contractual and fiduciary duties had not been complied with. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-00203 (Apr. 4, 2019).

Knuttila is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim in which the customer requested $445,000.00 in damages founded on allegations of FINRA rules, Minnesota Securities Act and federal securities laws being violated in reference to the customer’s real estate security purchases effected by Knuttila during the time that the stockbroker was associated with Capital Financial Services Inc. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-00571 (Mar. 4, 2019). Another customer filed an investment related arbitration claim in regard to Knuttila’s activities where the customer sought $400,000.00 in damages based upon accusations that during the period in which Knuttila was employed by Questar Capital Corporation, transactions executed in the customer’s account were unsuitable; fiduciary obligations were violated and false or misleading statements had been made by the stockbroker concerning annuities, oil and gas products and equipment leasing products. FINRA Arbitration No. 19-02369 (Aug. 19, 2019).

FINRA Public Disclosure additionally reveals that Knuttila has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity founded on findings that he failed to cooperate with FINRA personnel when he was investigated for providing bad investment advice to customers. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2017052705601 (June 19, 2018). According to the AWC, Knuttila was instructed by FINRA to provide recorded testimony in regard to his unsuitable investment recommendations. FINRA received word from Knuttila that although he received its request, he would not be complying with it at any point. Knuttila’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

Knuttila has also been fined $40,000.00 and permanently barred from being a stockbroker in the State of Minnesota based upon Knuttila’s consent to the Minnesota regulator’s findings of him selling customers wholly unsuitable real estate investment trust, equipment leasing and variable annuity products during the time that the stockbroker had been associated with Capital Financial Services. Case No. 46534 (Apr. 10, 2018).

Knuttila’s employment with Capital Financial Services was terminated on December 31, 2017.