Adjudication and Decisions

When FINRA determines that violations of securities rules have occurred and formal disciplinary action is necessary, the Enforcement Department or Market Regulation Department files a complaint with the Office of Hearing Officers (OHO).

The Office arranges a three-person panel to hear the case. The panel is chaired by a hearing officer who is an employee of the Office of Hearing Officers. The Chief Hearing Officer appoints two industry panelists, drawn primarily from a pool of current and former securities industry members of FINRA's District Committees, as well as its Market Regulation Committee, former members of FINRA'sâ„¢ National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) and former FINRA Governors.

At the hearing, the parties present evidence for the panel to determine whether a firm or individual has engaged in conduct that violates FINRA rules, SEC regulations or federal securities laws. In reaching its decision, the hearing panel also considers previous court, SEC, and NAC decisions to determine if violations occurred. The NAC is the national committee which reviews initial decisions rendered in FINRA disciplinary and membership proceedings.

For each case, the hearing panel will issue a written decision explaining the reasons for its ruling and consult the FINRA Sanction Guidelines to determine the appropriate sanctions if violations have occurred. FINRA also, when feasible and appropriate, can order firms and individuals to make restitution to harmed customers.

Appeals Process

Under FINRA's disciplinary procedures, a firm or individual has the right to appeal a hearing panel decision to the NAC, or the NAC may on its own initiate a review of a decision. On appeal, the NAC will determine if a hearing panel's findings were legally correct, factually supported and consistent with FINRA's Sanction Guidelines. While a panel decision is on appeal, the sanction is not enforced against the firm or individual.

Unless FINRA's Board of Governors decides to review the NAC's appellate decision, that decision represents FINRA's final action. A firm or individual can appeal FINRA's decision to the SEC and then to federal court.

Date of Decisionsort ascending Proceeding No. Title Type
Oct 14, 2016 201303641201 Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Enforcement’s Motion for Partial Summary Disposition Disciplinary Order
Oct 5, 2016 FPI160009 Donald Shelby Toomer Expedited Decision
Sep 13, 2016 2012033105901 Order Granting Department of Enforcement’s Motion to Strike Affirmative Defense. Disciplinary Order
Sep 7, 2016 2013038986001 Order Denying Respondent’s Motion to Continue Hearing Disciplinary Order
Aug 31, 2016 20140425550-02 Modesto Biney Disciplinary Decision
Aug 30, 2016 2014043020901 Order Granting Enforcement’s Motion for Exception From Sequestration. Disciplinary Order
Aug 29, 2016 ARB160009 Christopher John Gimblet Expedited Decision
Aug 24, 2016 2014043020901 Order Granting Joint Motion to Permit Witnesses to Have Counsel Present During Testimony Disciplinary Order
Aug 24, 2016 20100226911-02 Bharminder Singh Disciplinary Decision
Aug 23, 2016 2011025675501 Kimberly Springsteen-Abbott Disciplinary Decision
Aug 16, 2016 2014039173301 Case Management and Scheduling Order Disciplinary Order
Aug 15, 2016 2013038986001 Order Rejecting Offer of Settlement Disciplinary Order
Aug 12, 2016 2013039639101 Ronald Leslie Geffner Disciplinary Decision
Aug 5, 2016 ARB160012 Fairbridge Capital Markets Expedited Decision
Aug 4, 2016 FPI160002 Robert DePalo Expedited Decision
Aug 3, 2016 2011025851501 KCD Financial, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Aug 2, 2016 FPI160006 Dawn Bennett Expedited Decision
Jul 28, 2016 2013035817701 Protective Order Governing Personal Confidential Information Disciplinary Order
Jul 28, 2016 20120342425-01 Order Concerning Parties’ Motion for Leave to Present Expert Testimony Disciplinary Order
Jul 25, 2016 FR160001 Merriman Capital Inc. Expedited Decision
Jul 21, 2016 2010022601501 Jack Brian Weinstock Disciplinary Decision
Jul 20, 2016 2009020465801 Keith D. Geary Disciplinary Decision
Jul 19, 2016 2011028502101 North Woodward Financial Corp. and Douglas A. Troszak Disciplinary Decision
Jul 18, 2016 2012034389202 Bernard G. McGee Disciplinary Decision
Jul 18, 2016 2012033351801 Paolo Franca Iida Disciplinary Decision