INVESTORS: Former JVB Financial Group broker Devin Wicker was barred by FINRA following allegations that he improperly used and converted a customer’s funds to pay his member firm’s business expenses without the customer’s authorization or approval.
Devin Wicker (CRD: 4228250) was registered as a broker with JVB Financial Group from 2017 until 2018. Previously, Wicker was registered as a broker with Tribal Capital Markets from 2016 until 2017.
Wicker has five disclosures on his BrokerCheck report.
August 2018 Employment Separation After Allegations
- Firm Name: J.V.B. Financial Group, LLC
- Termination Type: Voluntary Resignation
- Allegations: Allegations were made that accused Mr. Wicker of violating investment-related statutes, regulations, rules or industry conduct prior to his association with our Firm.
August 2018 Regulatory Judgment
- Status: Pending
- Initiated By: FINRA
- Allegations: Wicker was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he improperly used and converted a customer’s funds to pay his member firm’s business expenses without the customer’s authorization or approval. The complaint alleges that the firm received $50,000 from an investment-banking customer for the purpose of paying a retainer to a law firm hired in connection with a prospective public offering. However, rather than pay that law firm, Wicker used the money to pay the firm’s business expenses, including its own legal bills. To date, Wicker has not returned the customer’s funds. The customer retained the firm as underwriter for a planned public offering. In anticipation of retaining a law firm to act as underwriter’s counsel in connection with the customer offering, the firm sent an invoice to the customer for $50,000, directing that the customer wire those funds to it so that it could pay the law firm. The customer transferred $50,000 to the firm’s bank account solely for the purpose of paying the underwriter’s counsel retainer. Wicker was notified by email that the customer had sent the funds to the firm and he signed an agreement on the firm’s behalf formally retaining the law firm as underwriter’s counsel.
- Resolution: Pending finality
- Sanctions: Bar
- Registration Capacities Affected: All Capacities
- Duration: Indefinite
- Start Date: 12/15/2021
- Regulator Statement: Extended Hearing Panel decision rendered June 5, 2020 wherein Wicker is barred from association with FINRA member in all capacities, ordered to pay $50,000, plus interest, in restitution to a customer, and ordered to pay costs of $4,370.72. . The sanctions were based on findings that Wicker misused and converted $50,000 from a customer by intentionally, and without authority, using the customer’s funds for purposes the customer did not intend. The findings stated that the customer had engaged Wicker’s member firm as underwriter for a proposed initial public offering (IPO). The customer agreed to reimburse the firm for the legal fees and expenses of the law firm retained by the firm to work on the IPO. At Wicker’s direction, the firm sent the customer an invoice for $50,000 to be used for the counsel’s retainer. In accord with the instruction, the customer immediately wired the $50,000. The bank account to which the firm directed the customer’s money was the bank account used to fund the firm’s operations. The firm paid its own expenses such as payroll and commissions from the account, and Wicker periodically made payments to himself from it. Wicker described the payments to himself as guaranteed payments under the firm’s partnership agreement and repayments of undocumented loans he had made to the firm. The customer’s funds were commingled with the other funds in the account, without segregating or earmarking them as customer funds. The findings also stated that Wicker controlled the firm and its bank account. Wicker’s approval was necessary for any wire transfers from the firm’s bank account, and he was the only person who could write checks or make cash withdrawals from the account. Despite repeated requests either to pay the counsel, or to refund the money to the customer, Wicker did neither. Instead, Wicker treated all funds in the account as belonging to the firm and disbursed them in the operating account for other purposes, including the firm’s payroll and payments to himself. The balance in the firm’s account fluctuated, sometimes having less than $50,000 and sometimes more. In fact, once the account even had a negative balance. However, even when there were sufficient funds in the account, Wicker did not pay the counsel or refund the customer’s money. Instead, he dissipated virtually all the funds in the account-including the customer’s funds. Ultimately, the firm ceased operations. Later, after filing a Uniform Request for Broker-Dealer Withdrawal (Form BDW) to withdraw its registration with FINRA, the firm’s FINRA registration was canceled for failure to pay required fees to FINRA. The customer never recovered its $50,000. On September 30, 2020, the NAC accepted an appeal by Wicker. NAC decision rendered December 15, 2021 wherein the findings made are affirmed and the sanctions imposed by the Hearing Panel are affirmed. If no further action is taken, decision will become final on January 17, 2022. The bar is in effect pending finality.
June 2017 Regulatory Judgment
- Status: Pending
- Initiated By: United States Securities and Exchange Commission
- Allegations: SEC Admin Release 34-80993 / June 21, 2017: The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) deems it appropriate that cease-and-desist proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 21C of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), against Bonwick Capital Partners, LLC (“Bonwick”) and Devin Wicker (“Wicker”) (collectively, “Respondents”). The Commission finds that this proceeding arises out of the failure by Bonwick, while a registered broker-dealer, to properly accrue certain payables and, as a result, to properly calculate and report its net capital. As a consequence, at certain times from January 2015 through May 2015 (the “relevant period”), Bonwick operated with a net capital deficiency and violated net capital reporting and books and records provisions. Wicker, Bonwick’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”), caused Bonwick’s violations by failing to communicate the existence of these payables to Bonwick’s Financial and Operations Principal (“FINOP”). As a result of the conduct described above, Bonwick violated Section 15(c)(3) of the Exchange Act and Rule 15c3-1 thereunder, which require broker-dealers to maintain minimum net capital, and Section 17(a)(1) of the Exchange Act and Rules 17a-3 and 17a-5 thereunder, which require broker-dealers to make and keep current certain books and records, and to make certain reports and filings with the Commission, and Wicker caused Bonwick’s violations.
- Resolution: Order
- Sanctions: Cease and Desist
- Sanctions: Civil and Administrative Penalty(ies)/Fine(s)
- Amount: $15,000.00
May 2017 Employment Separation After Allegations
- Firm Name: Tribal Capital Markets, LLC
- Termination Type: Discharged
- Allegations: Mr. Wicker failed to cooperate with the Firm in an internal investigation, and failed to provide the requested documents, failed to complete the required Continuing Education course and failed to provide the requested additional information. Based upon these failures Mr. Wicker’s employment with the Firm was terminated.
December 2016 Customer Dispute
- Status: Pending
- Allegations: [customer name], an investment banking client of Bonwick Capital Partners (“BCP”) alleged that Devin Wicker, the CEO of BCP at the time, misappropriated funds in the amount of $50,000, by failing to forward funds wired to BCP that were earmarked for underwriters counsel as a retainer for services for a Reg A Filing that BCP was handling for [customer name].
- Damage Amount Requested: $50,000.00
- Broker Comment: Allegations concern $50,000 payment from [customer name] to Bonwick Capital Partners, LLC in connection with proposed initial public offering. The ‘lead banker’ on that deal left Bonwick Capital Partners, LLC taking with him, among other things, escrow funds and pending corporate finance transactions, thus leaving Bonwick Capital Partners, LLC (and Mr. Wicker as the firm’s CEO) responsible for resolving pending matters. Mr. Wicker, individually, denies any allegations of wrongdoing. Bonwick Capital Partners, LLC, which filed a BDW on or about 12/13/2016 and currently is in the process of winding down, reserves all rights to seek recompense, disgorgement, damages and fees from the lead banker on the [customer name] deal as well as from the former lead banker’s new broker-dealer.
Contact Us Today
The Sonn Law Group is currently investigating allegations surrounding Devin Wicker. We represent investors in claims against negligent brokers and brokerage firms. If you or your loved one experienced investment losses, we are here to help. For a free consultation, please call us now at 866-827-3202 or complete our contact form.