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
Mar 28, 2014 2011025899601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. David Harari and Sian Harari Disciplinary Decision
Mar 27, 2014 SD-1975 Patrick Dukette Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Mar 5, 2014 2009017527501 Steven R. Tomlinson Disciplinary Decision
Mar 4, 2014 SD-2023 Joel E. Breiter with Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Feb 25, 2014 2011025643201 Ronald E. Walblay Disciplinary Decision
Feb 21, 2014 2011029152401 William Bruce Smith Disciplinary Decision
Feb 20, 2014 2009018076101 Blair Alexander West Disciplinary Decision
Feb 19, 2014 SD-1812 Mitchell T. Toland Statutory Disqualification, Denials
Feb 14, 2014 2012032997201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Stephen Grivas Disciplinary Decision
Feb 7, 2014 2009017899801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Rani T. Jarkas and William H. Carson Disciplinary Decision
Jan 31, 2014 SD-1794 RBC Capital Markets, LLC Statutory Disqualification
Jan 28, 2014 2011026664301 Amended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gardnyr Michael Capital Inc. and Pfilip Gardnyr Hunt, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Jan 24, 2014 2010023218601 Order Denying Respondent’s Discovery Motions. Disciplinary Order
Jan 23, 2014 2011029619301 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Kenny Akindemowo Disciplinary Decision
Jan 21, 2014 2011029227701 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Kam Poi Yee Disciplinary Decision
Jan 16, 2014 SD-1750 Joseph Popp Statutory Disqualification
Dec 31, 2013 2009018771602 Robert H. Watkins Disciplinary Decision
Dec 31, 2013 2009016764901 Robert Durant Tucker Disciplinary Decision
Dec 31, 2013 2008011675301 Extended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Timothy B. Ruggiero Disciplinary Decision
Dec 27, 2013 2011025506901 Extended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Richard Hans Bach Disciplinary Decision
Dec 26, 2013 20070082049 Robert Marcus Lane and Jeffrey G. Lane Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2013 20110269351 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Market Regulation v. John Cherry III Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2013 2008016437801 Hugh Vincent Murray III Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2013 2006005259801 John Joseph Plunkett Disciplinary Decision
Dec 12, 2013 20090209629-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jason Blum Disciplinary Decision

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