Stifel Stockbroker Barred For Unauthorized Trading

Coleman J. Devlin, a stockbroker formerly registered with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any FINRA member in any and all capacities based upon allegations that he placed trades in the firm’s customer accounts without having authorization. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2016050359301 (Oct. 18, 2017).

According to the AWC, between January of 2012 and July of 2016, trades were effected by Devlin in five of the firm’s customer accounts despite Devlin failing to procure the customers’ authorizations beforehand. Apparently, the firm did not accept the customer’s accounts as approved for purposes of discretionary trading. Consequently, FINRA concluded that Devlin’s conduct was violative of FINRA Rule 2010 and NASD Rule 2510(b).

Devlin was fired by Stifel Nicolaus on June 28, 2016, based upon allegations that he effected trades without authorization, leading at least one customer to file a complaint. Since his termination, he has been subject of five customer initiated investment related disputes regarding his improper conduct. On October 19, 2016, a customer complaint involving Devlin’s activities was settled for $41,316.64 in damages based upon allegations that between April 20, 2015, and June 3, 2015, Devlin made investment recommendations regarding highly-risky equities products that were not appropriate for the customer.

Then, a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim pertaining to Devlin’s conduct was resolved for $40,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of unauthorized and unsuitable equity investments having been effected in the customer’s account. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-022259 (Mar. 20, 2017). Another customer initiated investment related complaint involving Devlin’s conduct was settled for $32,500.00 in damages founded upon allegations that Devlin failed to effect equity transactions that were appropriate considering the customer’s investment objectives and tolerance for risk.

Devlin was then subject of a customer initiated investment related arbitration claim, which was resolved for $41,000.00 in damages supported by allegations that the customer’s investment account was over-concentrated in risky investments that the customer never authorized. FINRA Arbitration No. 16-03737 (Feb. 15, 2017). Another written complaint regarding Devlin’s activities has been settled on June 29, 2017, for $95,000.00 in damages based upon allegations of suitability and unauthorized trading between September 12, 2013, and June 12, 2016.

Devlin was subsequently employed with IFS Securities from July 28, 2016, to February 13, 2017.

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