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
Jun 18, 2013 FPI130001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Gregg Charles Lorenzo Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Jun 12, 2013 2011025780101 Order Denying Respondent’s Motion to Compel the Department of Enforcement to Produce Withheld Documents Disciplinary Order
Jun 11, 2013 2010024062601 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Stephen Yarkpazuo Jensen Disciplinary Decision
Jun 3, 2013 2009019042402 Order Denying Respondent’s Motion to Disqualify Josefina Martinez and Motion to Compel Testimony and Production of Documents by Josefina Martinez Disciplinary Order
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
May 2, 2013 2009017529101 Order Denying Respondent’s Motion to Compel Production of Documents and a List of Withheld Documents. Disciplinary Order
May 2, 2013 2009017529101 Order Denying Respondent’s Motion to Compel Production of Documents and a List of Withheld Documents Disciplinary Order
Apr 26, 2013 2008015934801 Alan Jay Davidofsky Disciplinary Decision
Apr 24, 2013 2009019369302 Jeff Ng Disciplinary Decision
Apr 15, 2013 2011030192201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Alfred P. Reeves III Disciplinary Decision
Apr 4, 2013 20070094013 Extended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Respondent Redacted Decision
Mar 21, 2013 2010024837301 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Carlos Francisco Otalvaro Disciplinary Decision
Mar 21, 2013 2009017527501 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Steven Robert Tomlinson Disciplinary Decision
Mar 15, 2013 2010021621201 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Michael Pino Disciplinary Decision
Mar 15, 2013 20080127674, 20080133768 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Angelo Xagoraris Disciplinary Decision
Mar 13, 2013 2011026874301 Memorandum Order Directing Respondent to Comply with Rule 8210 Request for Information Regarding Respondent’s Reliance on Counsel Defense Disciplinary Order
Mar 12, 2013 2011025674101 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Shlomi S. Eplboim Disciplinary Decision
Mar 4, 2013 2008013864401 Amended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Michael Jennings, Brian Mulvey and Respondent 3 Disciplinary Decision
Feb 26, 2013 2010024320101 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Timothy M. Wheeler Disciplinary Decision
Feb 26, 2013 2007010158001 CapWest Securities, Inc.: Appealed Disciplinary Decision
Feb 22, 2013 2006005318801 Kent M. Houston Disciplinary Decision
Feb 21, 2013 2011029760201 Hearing Panel Decision Granting in Part and Denying in Part the Parties’ Cross-Motions for Summary Disposition in Departement of Enforcement v. Charles Schwab & Company, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Feb 19, 2013 2011029152401 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. William B. Smith Disciplinary Decision
Feb 15, 2013 2008014621701 Thomas Weisel Partners, LLC and Stephen H. Brinck, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Feb 15, 2013 2007010580702 Dennis Thomas Palmeri, Jr. Disciplinary Decision

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