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 Decision Proceeding No. Titlesort descending Type
Oct 6, 2008 2005001305701 Harvest Capital Investments, LLC and Dennis Cotto Disciplinary Decision
Dec 8, 2010 2007007151101 Hearing Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Merrimac Corporate Securities, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Nov 18, 1999 C8A990015 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Dec 23, 1998 C8A980045 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Aug 21, 1998 CO5970035 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Jul 29, 1999 CMS980108 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
May 6, 1999 C07980021 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Mar 19, 1998 C07970055 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Mar 14, 1999 CAF980086 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Apr 12, 1999 C10980054 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Aug 13, 1999 C9A980041 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
May 7, 1999 CAF980094 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Jun 3, 1998 CMS970028 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
May 6, 1999 CAF980080 Hearing Panel Decision Redacted Decision
Mar 20, 2001 C10000102 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Nov 15, 2001 C07010010 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Dec 22, 2003 03-03 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Aug 2, 2000 C01990013 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Apr 1, 2002 CMS000157 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Jul 16, 2004 C01020022 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Feb 11, 2000 CAF980031 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Jul 3, 2001 C3A000007 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Nov 15, 2000 C3A990067 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Nov 21, 2001 C07010017 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision
Aug 27, 2004 CAF030042 Hearing Panel Decision as to Respondent Redacted Decision

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