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's™ 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
Aug 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-014 et al. B.C. Ziegler and Company, Benchmark Securities, LLC, Bernardi Securities, Inc., BOSC, Inc., Central States Capital Markets, LLC, City Securities Corporation, The Baker Group, LP Statutory Disqualification, Other
Aug 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-018 et al. BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc., BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC, Dougherty & Company LLC, George K. Baum & Company, Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co. Statutory Disqualification, Other
Aug 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-026 et al. Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. Statutory Disqualification
Aug 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-022 et al. First National Capital Markets, Inc., L.J. Hart and Company, Inc., Loop Capital Markets LLC, Martin Nelson & Co., Inc., Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co., LLC, Smith Hayes Financial Services Corporation, Wells Nelson & Associates, LLC Statutory Disqualification
Aug 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-021 et al. Davenport & Company LLC, Piper Jaffray & Co., Robert W. Baird & Co., Incorporated Stephens Inc., Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc., William Blair & Company LLC Statutory Disqualification
Aug 10, 2015 SD-MCDC-031 et al. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Statutory Disqualification
Mar 25, 2015 SD-2025 ConvergEx Execution Solutions, LLC Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Feb 26, 2015 SD-2024 G-Trade Services LLC Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Feb 3, 2015 SD-1865 Guy S. Amico with Newbridge Securities Corp. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Jan 30, 2015 SD-1865 Scott H. Goldstein with Newbridge Securities Corp. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Jan 29, 2015 SD-2050 Theodore Rothman with First Allied Securities, Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Dec 22, 2014 SD-2042 Thomas Core with Aegis Capital Corp. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Nov 6, 2014 SD-2017 Piper Jaffray & Co. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Sep 9, 2014 SD-2012 David S. Thomas, Jr. with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Aug 8, 2014 SD-2037 Jason Ginder with National Securities Corp. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Apr 14, 2014 SD-2030 George L. Prost with Intercoastal Capital Markets, Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Mar 4, 2014 SD-2023 Joel E. Breiter with Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals