Defunct Costal Equities Sued By Investors For Unauthorized Trading

Dudley Franklin Stephens (also known as Stephen Franklin Dudley) of New York New York a stockbroker formerly registered with Prospera Financial Services and Coastal Equities is the subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim which was resolved for $122,500.00 in damages based upon accusations that the customer had been placed into unsuitable investments and that trades were effected without the customer’s consent during the time that Stephens was associated with Prospera and Coastal Equities. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Arbitration No. 19-00201 (Dec. 18, 2019).

According to the claim, Stephens’ investment recommendations relating to real estate securities, equities, oil and gas investments and private securities were unsuitable for the customer. The claim also alleges excessive trading by the stockbroker which resulted in excessive fees.

Stephens has been identified in three additional customer initiated investment related disputes concerning accusations of his misconduct while employed by Max International, Wells Fargo Advisors and Coastal Equities. FINRA Public Disclosure confirms that a customer initiated investment related complaint concerning Stephens’ activities was resolved for $15,000.00 in damages founded on accusations that trades were unsuitable and unauthorized and that Stephens’ negligence at Max international caused the customer’s losses on equities. The claim also indicates that the customer’s account was churned by Stephens.

Stephens has also been referenced in a customer initiated investment related written complaint in which the customer requested more than $5,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that the customer had been falsely told that an investment proposed by Stephens would receive a guaranteed rate of return and that there was no risk to the customer’s principal.

On February 21, 2019, another customer initiated investment related complaint involving Stephens’ conduct was settled for $41,250.00 in damages based upon allegations that the customer had been placed into an illegitimate investment through a private securities transaction arranged by Stephens and that unauthorized and excessive commissions had been charged to the customer. The complaint alleges that the customer experienced a full loss on the investment made through Stephens at Prospera.

Stephens has been barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity based upon accusations that he failed to disclose information to the regulator in response to its inquiry into his activities. Case No. 2018059265601 (Dec. 7, 2018). FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Stephens was issued a Notice of Suspension letter on September 4, 2018 and a Suspension from Association letter on September 28, 2018. The stockbroker failed to correspond with FINRA personnel by the December 6, 2018 deadline resulting in FINRA’s bar.

Stephens has been associated with five different securities broker dealers who have been expelled by regulators for violation of federal securities laws or are otherwise defunct. He was employed by Coastal Equities between November 22, 2016 and July 23, 2018.