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.sort descending Title Type
Nov 30, 2012 20100248883-01 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Richard N. Maruyama Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2015 2010024889501 William B. Fretz, Jr, John P. Freeman and The Keystone Equities Group, LP Disciplinary Decision
May 30, 2013 2010024889501 Extended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. William B. Fretz, Jr., John P. Freeman, and The Keystone Equities Group, LP Disciplinary Decision
Jul 6, 2012 2010024889501 Order Granting Department of Enforcement’s Motion Regarding Sequestration of FINRA Staff Witnesses Disciplinary Order
Oct 15, 2013 2010024917601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Ronald Moschetta Disciplinary Decision
Dec 1, 2015 2010025087302 APPEALED: Thaddeus J. North Disciplinary Decision
Mar 15, 2017 2010025087302 APPEALED: Thaddeus J. North Disciplinary Decision
Oct 22, 2012 2010025132201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Amy Siesennop Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2015 2010025181001 APPEALED: John Vincent Ballard Disciplinary Decision
May 6, 2014 2010025181001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John Vincent Ballard Disciplinary Decision
Dec 22, 2015 2010025350001 Roric E. Griffith Disciplinary Decision
Jun 13, 2014 2010025350001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Roric E. Griffith Disciplinary Decision
Jun 4, 2015 2011025444501 Order Denying Respondent's Motion to Strike Portions of Enforcement's Post-Hearing Appendix Disciplinary Order
Oct 29, 2015 2011025444501 APPEALED: Wood (Arthur W.) Company Disciplinary Decision
Mar 15, 2017 2011025444501 Wood (Arthur W.) Company, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Dec 27, 2013 2011025506901 Extended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Richard Hans Bach Disciplinary Decision
Sep 27, 2013 2011025591601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Highland Financial, LTD. and Gordon D. Smith. Disciplinary Decision
Sep 9, 2014 2011025617702 Order Denying Respondents’ Motion to Permit Expert Testimony Disciplinary Order
Apr 8, 2015 2011025622001 Order Denying Respondent's Motion for Leave to Permit Expert Testimony Disciplinary Order
Aug 13, 2015 2011025622001 SWS Financial Service, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Feb 25, 2014 2011025643201 Ronald E. Walblay Disciplinary Decision
Nov 1, 2012 2011025643201 Hearing Panel Decision Granting Department of Enforcement’s Motion for Summary Disposition in Department of Enforcement v. Ronald E. Walblay Disciplinary Decision
Mar 12, 2013 2011025674101 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Shlomi S. Eplboim Disciplinary Decision
May 14, 2014 2011025674101 Shlomi S. Eplboim Disciplinary Decision
Mar 30, 2015 2011025675501 APPEALED: Kimberly Springsteen-Abbott Disciplinary Decision

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