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 ascending Title Type
Jul 30, 2009 E102004083704 Marc Winters Disciplinary Decision
Nov 16, 2007 E102004083703 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Harvey M. Schwartz Disciplinary Decision
Aug 12, 2008 E102004083702 John C. Correro Disciplinary Decision
Jul 13, 2007 E102004083702 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John Christopher Correro Disciplinary Decision
Mar 23, 2006 E102003130804 Order Regarding Respondent's Pre-Hearing Submissions Disciplinary Order
Sep 13, 2006 E102003130804 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Michael Francis O'Neill Disciplinary Decision
Oct 26, 2010 E102003025201 Robert Conway and Kakit Ng Disciplinary Decision
Sep 13, 2006 E102003025201 Order Granting Motion to Adjourn Proceeding and Setting Pre-Hearing Conference Disciplinary Order
Jun 28, 2007 E102003025201 Procedural Pre-Hearing Order Disciplinary Order
Jun 27, 2007 E102003025201 Order Regarding Pre-Hearing Motions Disciplinary Order
May 17, 2007 E102003025201 Order Denying Respondents' Request for Leave to Offer Expert Testimony Disciplinary Order
Apr 23, 2008 E102003025201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Robert Conway and Kakit Ng Disciplinary Decision
Jun 11, 2007 E102003025201 Order Ruling on (1) Objections to Witnesses, (2) Motion to Substitute Exhibit, (3) Motions in Limine, and (4) Motions to Strike the Respondents' Affirmative Defenses Disciplinary Order
Dec 19, 2005 E1020010426-04 Order Denying Motion for More Definite Statement Disciplinary Order
Jan 16, 2009 E072005017201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John B. Busacca III Disciplinary Decision
Dec 16, 2009 E072005017201 John B. Busacca, III Disciplinary Decision
Sep 11, 2006 E072004088501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Fausto E. Callava Disciplinary Decision
May 22, 2006 E072004087801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Hung The Nguyen Disciplinary Decision
Jul 27, 2007 E072004072501 Andrew J. Hardin Disciplinary Decision
Sep 8, 2006 E072004072501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement vs. Andrew J. Hardin Disciplinary Decision
Feb 16, 2007 E072004044201 Ralph Merhi Disciplinary Decision
Sep 14, 2006 E072004006101 and 2005002392101 Order Denying Respondent Firm's Motions to Consolidate Disciplinary Order
Mar 5, 2010 E052005007501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Feb 21, 2008 E0420030634-04 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John M. Repine Disciplinary Decision
Sep 1, 2006 E0220030845-01 Order Requiring Counsel to File Notice Pursuant to Rule 9142 Disciplinary Order

Pages