Two former Raymond James bond salesmen and the firm they moved to have been sued by Raymond James for allegedly misappropriating proprietary information.

A complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee by Raymond James Financial against Sam Nevels, Tim Curran, and their new employer, Piper Sandler.

Court documents allege that Piper Sandler, which is headquartered in Minneapolis and has offices in Tennessee, and is a direct competitor of Raymond James in the sale of fixed-income securities to institutional clients, began recruiting Curran and Nevels in the first quarter of 2023—after it had already pilfered several other Raymond James professionals.

On September 5, Nevels and Curran quit Raymond James to work for Piper.

They are accused of taking with them a thousand pages of confidential documents related to trading strategies, proprietary products, customer information, and other trade secrets. The lawsuit alleges they emailed those documents to their personal email accounts.

In August alone, the lawsuit alleges, Curran printed 72 different proprietary documents totaling 541 pages, while Nevels printed 63 documents totaling 422 pages. These documents contained the names of dozens of Raymond James clients, according to the filing.

Nevels is further accused of deleting the names and email addresses of his Raymond James clients and replacing them with bogus data.

Piper is accused of benefiting from the stolen information and, therefore, approving of what Nevels and Curran allegedly did.

When asked to return the stolen documents, the defendants demurred, then offered to return only some of them in exchange for impunity, according to the lawsuit. No deal was agreed to and, to date, not a single document has been returned, according to the filing.

The plaintiffs—Raymond James and its Morgan Keegan unit—filed the complaint to obtain temporary and preliminary injunctive relief.

According to Finra's BrokerCheck, Curran joined Morgan Keegan in 2006, and Nevels followed a year later. Morgan Keegan was acquired by Raymond James in 2012. Both remained with Raymond James’s fixed-income sales department in Tennessee until September of this year.

Specifically, the former employees are alleged to have committed a breach of their employment contract as concerns confidentiality, and a breach of loyalty/fiduciary duty. Piper is charged with inducing those breaches. In addition, all three defendants are charged with misappropriation of trade secrets, intentional interference with Raymond James’ relationships with its clients and employees, conspiracy, and unfair competition.

The lawsuit seeks the return of the documents and a court order stopping the defendants from further use of Raymond James information.

The dispute is also being heard before a Finra arbitration panel.

Attorneys for Raymond James, the two bond salesmen, and Piper refused to comment.