The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced Coleman J. Devlin (Devlin) entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent without admitting or denying the allegations against him. The settlement concerns allegations Devlin exercised discretion in his customers’ accounts without written authorization. As a result, Devlin was suspended from the financial industry for thirty (30) business days and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Devlin (FINRA CRD No. 2317635) is an associated person registered with FINRA since 1994. From 2007 to 2016, and during the relevant time period, Devlin worked for Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel Nicolaus”). Thereafter, Devlin worked for IFS Securities. Devlin’s FINRA BrokerCheck Report discloses 18 negative events, including 14 customer complaints.
FINRA’s Department of Enforcement investigated Devlin’s alleged misconduct and found he exercised discretion and unauthorized trades in five customer accounts from 2012 to 2016. According to FINRA, Devlin’s customers neither provided written authorization for his discretionary trading, and nor did Stifel Nicolaus approve the accounts for discretionary trading.
Based upon the foregoing misconduct, FINRA alleged Devlin violated NASD Rule 2510(b), as well as FINRA Rule 2010. For example, NASD Rule 2510 prohibits a registered representative from exercising any discretionary authority in a customer’s account unless such customer has provided prior written authorization and the account has been accepted by a FINRA member. In cases where a financial advisor executes unauthorized trades without proper authorization, the financial advisor and brokerage firm may be found liable for investment damage, as well as disciplined by securities regulators such as the case here.
Lufrano Law, LLC is a national investment litigation firm and has experience representing investors who have investment disputes with brokers and broker-dealers. Please contact us at (800) 627-2179 for more information if you have been the victim of investment negligence or fraud.