The Securities and Exchange Commission hit Stifel Nicolaus & Co. and one of its former executives with fraud charges on Wednesday, alleging that they sold $200 million in investments to five Wisconsin school districts without properly representing their risks.

Stifel Nicolaus, in turn, denounced the charges on Wednesday, alleging that the SEC is unfairly blaming the firm, which served as a placement agent for the transactions. Stifel Nicolaus has filed a cross claim against Royal Bank of Canada, or RBC, which determined that the investments were suitable. An RBC spokesperson said Wednesday that Stifel’s claims are “without merit.”

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