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
May 10, 2012 2009017918001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. John D. Rausch Disciplinary Decision
May 3, 2012 20060053785-02 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Market Regulation v. Robert N. Drake Disciplinary Decision
May 2, 2012 2007007151101 Merrimac Corporate Securities, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
May 1, 2012 2006004122402 Hedge Fund Capital Partners, LLC and Howard G. Jahre Disciplinary Decision
Apr 27, 2012 2008014969001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Respondent Redacted Decision
Apr 5, 2012 2011029760201 Order Denying Respondent’s Motion for Leave to Serve Limited Discovery Disciplinary Order
Apr 4, 2012 20050007427 Extended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. David Lerner Associates, Inc. and William Mason Disciplinary Decision
Apr 2, 2012 2009019297801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Dame Cisse Disciplinary Decision
Mar 30, 2012 2008015934801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Alan J. Davidofsky Disciplinary Decision
Mar 29, 2012 2010021303301 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. North Woodward Financial Corp. and Douglas A. Troszak Disciplinary Decision
Mar 22, 2012 2009017439601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Timothy Joseph Golonka Disciplinary Decision
Mar 14, 2012 2009018771602 Order Denying Respondent’s Motion to Present Expert Witness Disciplinary Order
Mar 9, 2012 20080117243 Amended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Christopher Robert Ranni Disciplinary Decision
Mar 7, 2012 2008012137601 Gregory Richard Imbruce Disciplinary Decision
Mar 2, 2012 20060051788-01 Harrison A. Hatzis Disciplinary Decision
Feb 24, 2012 2007011489301 Ryan A. Leopold Disciplinary Decision
Feb 23, 2012 2009018944001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Daniel Edward Becerril, II Disciplinary Decision
Feb 21, 2012 2006005259801 John Joseph Plunkett Disciplinary Decision
Jan 30, 2012 2007010902501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jeffrey B. Pierce Disciplinary Decision
Jan 25, 2012 2008014285801 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Paul James Marshall Disciplinary Decision
Jan 2, 2012 SD12004 In The Matter of the Association of X as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Limited Representative with The Sponsoring Firm Redacted Decision, Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Jan 2, 2012 SD12007 In the Matter of the Continued Membership of Firm X with FINRA Redacted Decision, Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Jan 2, 2012 SD12009 In the Matter of the Continued Association of X as a General Securities Representative with The Sponsoring Firm Redacted Decision, Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Jan 2, 2012 SD12010 In the Matter of the Association of X Redacted Decision, Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Jan 2, 2012 SD12001 In the Matter of the Continued Association of X as a General Securities Representative Redacted Decision, Statutory Disqualification, Denials

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