CHICAGO — Stifel Nicolaus & Co. and a former senior executive fraudulently misled five Wisconsin school districts by steering them into unsuitably risky and complex investment products to fund their non-pension retirement obligations, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged in a complaint filed Wednesday.

The districts established trusts to begin funding their other post-employment liabilities and in 2006 — on the advice of Stifel and former senior vice president David W. Noack — invested $200 million in three transactions between June and December under a Stifel proprietary program.

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