The law firm of Oakes & Fosher is presently investigating the alleged misconduct of former securities broker Coleman Devlin. According to his publicly available FINRA BrokerCheck report, Coleman Devlin has been the subject of numerous customer disputes.

Coleman Devlin was a Georgia based securities broker. He worked in the securities industry for twenty-two years. During his career, he was registered with seven different securities firms. He is no longer working as a registered securities broker in any fashion.

His Registrations

  • Tamaron Investments (1994)
  • Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc. (1994-2000)
  • Dean Witter Reynolds (2000-2001)
  • Gruntal & Co. (2001-2002)
  • Ryan Beck & Co. (2002-2007)
  • Stifel Nicolaus & Company Inc. (2007-2016)
  • IFS Securities (2016-2017)

The Allegations

  • In February 2001, customers alleged that Coleman Devlin executed unauthorized trades and recommended unsuitable trades. This case was settled for $122,500 in damages.
  • In August 2002, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin recommended unsuitable investments and made material misrepresentations. This case was settled for $325,000 in damages.
  • Also in August 2002, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin breached his fiduciary duty, gave them unsuitable advice, made material misrepresentations, engaged in unauthorized trading, and breached contract. This case was settled for $197,000 in damages.
  • In February 2003, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin recommended unsuitable investments and engaged in unauthorized trading. This case was settled for $115,000 in damages.
  • In June 2016, Coleman Devlin was discharged from his position at Stifel Nicolaus following allegations of unauthorized trading.
  • In August 2016, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin made unsuitable and unauthorized investments. This case was settled for $40,000 in damages.
  • Also in August 2016, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin made unsuitable recommendations of risky and volatile stocks. This case was settled for $20,000 in damages.
  • In October 2016, a customer alleged that trades that Coleman Devlin executed on their behalf were not authorized and not appropriate for their investment objectives. This case was settled for $32,500 in damages.
  • In December 2016, customers alleged that Coleman Devlin over-concentrated their accounts in aggressive and speculative securities without their authorization. This case was settled for $41,000 in damages.
  • In May 2017, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin recommended unsuitable investments and executed unauthorized trades. This case was settled for $95,000 in damages.
  • In October 2017, Coleman Devlin was officially sanctioned by FINRA. The findings in this matter state that Devlin affected discretionary trades in five customer accounts without obtaining the proper authorization from the customers or having the member firm accept the accounts as discretionary. Due to these alleged actions, he was fined $5,000 and suspended from acting as a securities broker in any fashion for a period of thirty business days.
  • In January 2018, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin recommended unsuitable investments, committed common law fraud, breached contract, breached his fiduciary duty, and violated the Maryland Securities Act. This case was settled for $100,000 in damages.
  • In May 2018, customers alleged that Coleman Devlin made unauthorized trades and inappropriate investments that resulted in excessive commissions. This case is currently pending. The customers are seeking $157,347 in damages.
  • In July 2018, customers alleged that Coleman Devlin over-concentrated their account in unsuitable securities. This case was settled for $225,000 in damages.
  • In December 2018, a customer alleged that Coleman Devlin executed unauthorized trades, recommended a highly unsuitable investment strategy, and made material misrepresentations. This case is currently pending. The customers are seeking $100,000 in damages.
  • In November 2019, customers alleged that Coleman Devlin breached contract, breached his fiduciary duty, engaged in selling away, violated the Maryland Securities Act, and handled their account negligently. This case is currently pending. The customers are seeking $11.5 million in damages.

Unsuitable Investments

Securities brokers, like Coleman Devlin, have an obligation to their customers to recommend securities that are actually suitable for them. Brokers can determine if a particular investment is suitable for their customer by looking a variety of factors. These factors include the customer’s investment objectives, age, financial situation, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance. Brokers who are unable to determine suitability lack the ability to perform their job to the standard that is required for someone in their position. This is because it can be detrimental to investors when they find themselves invested in products they are not financially suited for.

Unauthorized Trading

There is a common misconception regarding how much power securities brokers actually hold. Investors do not relinquish control over their accounts simply because they have hired a securities broker to manage it. Brokers are still required to obtain the investor’s authorization before executing transactions on their behalf. A securities broker’s unauthorized trading can often lead to the investor experiencing financial loss. This is because, more often than not, the trades a broker makes without obtaining authorization are the trades they know should not be recommended in the first place.

Oakes & Fosher Can Help

Many investors are unaware of the legal recourse available to them after losing money due to securities broker fraud and/or negligence. The truth is that investors who have lost money in this fashion may actually be entitled to damages.

Oakes & Fosher dedicates its entire legal practice to helping investors across the nation. If you, or someone you know, have lost money investing with Coleman Devlin, please contact Oakes & Fosher for a free and private consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees charged unless we collect for you.