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
Oct 10, 2006 EAF0400300001 Order Directing the Parties to Cease Sending Non-Compliant Communications to the Office of Hearing Officers Disciplinary Order
Oct 3, 2006 EAF0400300001 Order Directing Respondents to File Exhibits and Witness List in Compliance With Pre-Hearing Order, and Extending Related Deadlines Disciplinary Order
Jan 19, 2006 EAF0400300001 Order Prohibiting Use of Subpeonas Disciplinary Order
Sep 15, 2006 EAF0400300001 Order Granting Parties Leave to Offer Expert Testimony and Amending Schedule for Hearing Disciplinary Order
Feb 25, 2009 EAF0400300001 Kirlin Securities, Inc., Anthony J. Kirincic, David O. Lindner and Andrew J. Israel Disciplinary Decision
Nov 28, 2007 EAF0400300001 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Kirlin Securities, Inc., Anthony J. Kirincic, David O. Lindner and Andrew J. Israel Disciplinary Decision
Nov 1, 2006 EAF0400300001 Order Regarding Hearing Procedures Disciplinary Order
Aug 18, 2010 EAF0400630001 Kevin L. Cohen, Dennis S. Kaminski, and Gari C. Sanfilippo Disciplinary Decision
Dec 16, 2008 EAF0400630001 Extended Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Mutual Service Corporation, et al. Disciplinary Decision
Nov 1, 2007 ELI2004026701 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Iftikhar Ul Haq Disciplinary Decision
Apr 6, 2009 ELI2004026701 Iftikhar Ul Haq Disciplinary Decision
Mar 2, 2001 EQS000002 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. A. G. Halvorson Securities Inc. Expedited Decision, Rule 9540 Suspension Decisions
Feb 8, 2002 EQS010002 Order Granting Complainant's Motion To Dismiss Disciplinary Order
Apr 18, 2011 EQS100001 Department of Member Regulation v. Intermountain Financial Services, Inc. Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Apr 19, 2002 FPI010002 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Samuel Engelsberg Expedited Decision, Rule 9540 Suspension Decisions
Mar 24, 2002 FPI010004 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Toni Valentino Expedited Decision, Rule 9540 Suspension Decisions
May 21, 2003 FPI010004 Toni Valentino Disciplinary Decision
Aug 11, 2003 FPI020002 Bret Steinhart Disciplinary Decision
Sep 30, 2003 FPI030003 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Stanley M. Wise Expedited Decision, Rule 9540 Suspension Decisions
Oct 3, 2005 FPI040002 Ryan & Company, LP and Scott W. Ryan Disciplinary Decision
Feb 18, 2005 FPI040007 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Elliot M. Hershberg Expedited Decision, Rule 9540 Suspension Decisions
Dec 20, 2005 FPI050008 Hearing Panel Decision in Department of Enforcement v. Jay A. Ochanpaugh Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Jan 26, 2006 FPI050010 Decision in Department of Enforcement v. James J. Brazil Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Jun 28, 2006 FPI060005 The Reid Group LLC Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Sep 15, 2006 FPI060008 Decision in Department of Market Regulation v. Respondent Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions, Redacted Decision

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