Arbitrators Clear Former Merrill Advisor Of Former Partner’s Misconduct

Posted on April 28th, 2022 at 1:23 PM
Arbitrators Clear Former Merrill Advisor Of Former Partner’s Misconduct

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law:

A former Kentucky-based Merrill advisor will have his record cleared of an investor complaint pertaining to the conduct of his former partner who was convicted of theft, according to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration award. 

Patrick Strehl, who now works at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in Louisville, was “not involved in the alleged embezzlement of funds” from an investor’s account, according to the arbitrators who authorized the expungement. Strehl’s former partner, Christopher Hibbard, received an eight-year prison sentence for embezzling funds from several client accounts. 

According to federal prosecutors, Hibbard embezzled at least $4.2 million between 2007 and 2017. The investor initially filed the claim in 2019 alleging breach of contract and fiduciary duty as well as constructive fraud while seeking $2.5 million in damages. According to BrokerCheck, Merrill agreed to a settlement with the investor for $250,000. 

Eccleston Law LLC represents investors and financial advisors nationwide in securities, employment, regulatory and disciplinary matters.


Tags: eccleston law, finra, merrill lynch

Return to Archive



I learned two important things working with Eccleston Law. First, I made a friend and ally with Jim and Steph for life. Secondly, and this is a crucial life lesson - if you need counsel, then seek out the very best. Jim was referred to me by a most trusted source. I've never had to hire an attorney for anything. Now, I know the value of hiring an important partner. Meticulous, thorough and detailed in preparation is the best way to describe Jim. Brilliant too, I might add. Bottom line, I would highly highly recommend Jim and Stephany for your legal needs. One of the best life decisions I've ever made.

Howard S.


June 23, 2022
Former Credit Suisse Advisor Prevails in Deferred Compensation Claim

A former Credit Suisse advisor has prevailed on a $2.2 million arbitration claim after alleging that the firm improperly withheld his deferred compensation when it discontinued its U.S. brokerage business in 2015. 

June 23, 2022
Eccleston Law LLC Investigates Recovery Options for NRIA Investors

Headquartered in Secaucus, NJ, National Realty Investment Advisors (NRIA) recently declared bankruptcy amid investor redemption requests, federal and state investigations, and unsustainable debt.

June 22, 2022
SEC Charges Three Additional Advisors for Recommending Horizon Ponzi Scheme to Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed suit against Michael Mooney, Britt Wright, and Penny Flippen pertaining to their engagement with a Ponzi scheme, which raised at least $110 million from nearly 400 investors.