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
Dec 1, 1997 CMS950042 Victor H. Palma, Jr. Disciplinary Decision
Jan 1, 2001 SD01011 View Decision Approvals, Statutory Disqualification, Redacted Decision
Dec 12, 2016 2013036653301 Vincent Au Disciplinary Decision
Aug 11, 2003 C10000122 Vincent J. Puma Disciplinary Decision
Oct 21, 2002 C10000122 Vincent J. Puma Disciplinary Decision
Apr 14, 2000 CMS960174 Vincent M. Carrella Disciplinary Decision
Jan 8, 2008 CAF020048 Vincent M. Uberti Disciplinary Decision
Mar 9, 2006 CAF020048 Vincent M. Uberti Disciplinary Decision
Oct 15, 2010 2007008358101 Vincent P. McCrudden Disciplinary Decision
Aug 12, 1997 CMS950129 Vladislav Steven Zubkis Disciplinary Decision
Dec 2, 2004 C02020055 VMR Capital Markets US Disciplinary Decision
Sep 15, 2015 2012033508702 APPEALED: Wall Street Securities, Inc., Gary Savage, Sr., and Louis Karl Kittlaus Disciplinary Decision
Sep 14, 2007 C07050042 Wanda P. Sears Disciplinary Decision
Jul 23, 2009 C07050042 Wanda P. Sears Disciplinary Decision
Jul 28, 2015 2009016159102 Warren Forest Disciplinary Decision
Aug 22, 1997 CMS920002 Warren R. Schreiber & Marian S. Gargano Disciplinary Decision
Apr 6, 2000 C07960105 Wayne B. Vaughan Disciplinary Decision
Oct 22, 1998 C07960105 Wayne B. Vaughan Disciplinary Decision
Mar 15, 2007 ARB060035 Wedbush Morgan Securities, Inc. Expedited Decision, Rule 9550 Expedited Decisions
Aug 27, 2015 2012034934301 Wedbush Securities Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Dec 11, 2014 20070094044 APPEALED: Wedbush Securities, Inc. and Edward William Wedbush Disciplinary Decision
Oct 2, 2014 SD-1798 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Statutory Disqualification, Approvals
Aug 13, 2002 C05010012 Wendell D. Belden Disciplinary Decision
Oct 21, 2010 2006005696601 Westrock Advisors, Inc. Disciplinary Decision
Dec 17, 2015 2010024889501 William B. Fretz, Jr, John P. Freeman and The Keystone Equities Group, LP Disciplinary Decision