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
Aug 16, 2016 2014039173301 Case Management and Scheduling Order Disciplinary Order
Feb 14, 2005 CMS030006 Castle Securities Corp. Disciplinary Decision
Feb 19, 2004 C3A010036 Castle Securities Corp. & Michael Studer Disciplinary Decision
Dec 10, 2012 2010023719601 Chad A. McCartney Disciplinary Decision
Jan 3, 2007 C3A040001 Charles A. DaCruz and Thomas J. Linda Disciplinary Decision
Jan 8, 2007 C9A040024 Charles C. Fawcett IV Disciplinary Decision
Apr 2, 2015 2012034045101 Charles H. Melvin, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Feb 27, 2007 C9B050011 Charles J. Cuozzo, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Apr 24, 2014 2011029760201 Charles Schwab & Company, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Dec 3, 2003 C01010009 Chris Dinh Hartley Disciplinary Decision
May 20, 2016 SD-2027 APPEALED: Christopher Cota with Capital Financial Services, Inc. Statutory Disqualification, Denials
Aug 29, 2016 ARB160009 Christopher John Gimblet Expedited Decision
Nov 20, 1997 C07960065 Christopher K. Cutchens Disciplinary Decision
Aug 16, 2001 C05990026 Christopher M. Block & Jeffrey S. Burke Disciplinary Decision
Aug 9, 2004 C3B020013 Christopher R. Van Dyk Disciplinary Decision
Mar 12, 1998 C3A960040 Cindy M. Goldberg Disciplinary Decision
Sep 8, 2016 SD-2048 Citigroup Global Markets Inc. 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, Approvals
Jan 20, 1998 C06950004 Clinger & Co., Inc., & Norman E. Clinger Disciplinary Decision
Aug 11, 1997 C01960005 Clyde Joseph Bruff Disciplinary Decision
May 3, 2010 2006006890801 CMG Institutional Trading LLC and Shawn D. Baldwin Disciplinary Decision
Feb 20, 2008 E8A20050252 CMG Institutional Trading, LLC and Shawn D. Baldwin Disciplinary Decision
Oct 8, 2010 2008012026601 CMG Institutional Trading, LLC and Shawn D. Baldwin Disciplinary Decision
Nov 30, 2015 SD-MCDC-049 et al. Comerica Securities, Inc., Crews & Associates, Inc., Northland Securities, Inc., PNC Capital Markets LLC Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Mar 25, 2015 SD-2025 ConvergEx Execution Solutions, LLC Statutory Disqualification, Approvals

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