Erez Law is currently investigating former Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated financial advisor Coleman Devlin (CRD# 2317635) regarding discretionary trades in customer accounts, among other securities violations. Devlin was registered with IFS Securities in Atlanta, Georgia from July 2016 to February 2017 and with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated in Baltimore, Maryland from 2007 to July 2016, before he was terminated regarding unauthorized trading. Previously, he was registered with Ryan Beck & Co. in Baltimore, Maryland from 2002 to 2007, with Gruntal & Co., L.L.C. in New York, New York from 2001 to 2002, and with Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. in Purchase, New York from 2000 to 2001, when he was terminated regarding violation of firm policy.
In November 2017, Devlin was suspended from FINRA for 30 days and sanctioned to $5,000 in civil and administrative penalties and fines after he consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he effected discretionary trades in five customer accounts without obtaining prior written authorization from the customers and without acceptance of the accounts as discretionary by his member firm.
In December 2003, NASD sanctioned Devlin to a 15-day suspension, a $10,000 fine, which includes the disgorgement of financial benefits received, and that he must re-qualify as a general securities representative by taking and passing the series 7 exam within 60 days after the date on which the Award, Waiver & Consent was accepted by NASD. These sanctions were imposed regarding allegations that he recommended and effected uncovered put option transactions in the account of a customer, without having reasonable grounds for believing that the recommendations and resultant transactions were suitable for the customer based upon the customers financial situation, investment objectives, and needs. NASD found that Devlin exercised discretion in the account of a public customer without having obtained prior written authorization from the customer, and prior written acceptance of this account as discretionary by his member firm.
Devlin has been the subject of 15 customer complaints between 2001 and 2018, two of which were denied and one was closed without action, according to his CRD report:
- January 2018. “Claimant alleges unsuitability, common law fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of the Maryland Securities Act.” The customer is seeking $300,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- December 2017. “Claimants allege breach of contract, breach of duty – selling away, professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of Maryland Securities Act, violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5, and negligent supervision.” The customer is seeking $20,000,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
- May 2017. “Clients allege registered representative made unsuitable and unauthorized investments. 9/12/13 through 6/2/16.” The case was settled for $95,000.
- December 2016. “Claimants allege that registered representative over-concentrated claimants’ accounts in aggressive and speculative securities without their authorization.” The case was settled for $41,000.
- October 2016. “Client alleges trades were not authorized and not appropriate for client’s objective or risk level.” The case was settled for $32,500.
- August 2016. “Client alleges representative made unsuitable recommendations of high risk, volatile stocks. 4/20/15 through 6/3/15.” The customer sought $41,316.64 in damages and the case was settled for $20,000.
- August 2016. “Claimant alleges registered representative made unsuitable and unauthorized investments.” The customer sought $100,000 in damages and the case was settled for $40,000.
- October 2015. “Client alleges unauthorized trading and churning. 3/9/10 through 9/28/15.” The case was settled for $15,000.
- February 2003. “Suitability and unauthorized trading.” The customer sought $210,125 in damages and the case was settled for $115,000.
- August 2002. “Breach of fid duty, unsuitable advice, misrepresentations, unauthorized trading and breach of contract and failure to supervise.” The customer sought $341,070 in damages and the case was settled for $197,000.
- August 2002. “Client alleged unsuitability and misrepresentations and/or omissions with respect to transactions in his accounts.” The customer sought $789,000 in damages and the case was settled for $325,000.
- February 2001. “Clients alleged unauthorized trading and unsuitable trades.” The customer sought $560,000 in damages and the case was settled for $122,500.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Devlin’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.