Florida Regulatory Events Lawyer
Gregory Tendrich Represents Florida Brokers and Florida Financial Advisors in Regulatory Investigations, Inquiries, and Hearings
When a regulatory agency such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodities Futures trading Commission (CFTC), the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR), or any other state regulatory agency, reaches out to you regarding an inquiry or investigation, the proper response is to obtain the advice and guidance of a knowledgeable regulatory events lawyer.
Being investigated can be intimidating, confusing, and deeply stressful. It is crucial that you take action to protect your rights. In most industries a failure to prepare might result in a slap on the wrist or a small fine, but in the securities industry, it can result in disclosures, suspensions, fines, and even being barred from the industry. If you have been notified of an impending inquiry or investigation, please contact Florida regulatory events lawyer Gregory Tendrich for immediate legal assistance.
Formal Inquiries from FINRA
Typically, if FINRA is interested in you, it will send out an 8210 inquiry letter, seeking specific information, documents and a statement from you regardning the subject of its inquiry. During this initial stage of investigation, you will be required to respond within a specified period of time.
If FINRA is not satisfied with the information you provide, or if it has other questions, it may send you another request or it may pursue further action againsy you. If it does decide further action is warranted, FINRA can and will use the preliminary information you provided against you. That is why it is imperative that you contact an expereinced finaincial advisor regulatory events lawyer to assist you with your response.
If you have received a request for information, financial records, financial documents, or on-the-record testimony from FINRA, you should contact an experienced financial advisor defense lawyer immediately.
Formal Regulatory Investigations
If FINRA decides that your response to the 8210 letter warrants further review, it will follow through with additional requests to you that could lead to a formal investigation. Part of the investigation may entail providing on-the-record (OTR) interviews with the regulatory body and you, the advisor. FINRA will put you under oath and ask a series of direct questions. It will record your answers and make an official transcript, which it will review to determine the outcome of the investigation. Prior to providing responses to an 8210 request or sitting for an OTR, it is strongly advised that you seek the advice of counsel. Contact Gregory Tendrich, P.A. to see how we’re prepared to help you.
Regulatory Events: Possible Outcomes
There are a few possible outcomes to a formal regulatory investigation, many of which are not positive. To protect your professional interests, it is crucial that you have qualified legal representation. Some possible results of a FINRA inquiry/investigation include:
- Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC): An AWC is the industry equivalent of a plea bargain. Essentially, without admitting guilt/fault, you agree to certain restrictions and agree not to engage in unlawful conduct. Signing an AWC may involve agreeing to a fine, suspension, statutory disqualification, or even being barred from the industry entirely.
- Statutory Disqualification (SD): A person may receive an SD if the regulatory body can prove that the advisor’s actions were willful. That said, if you do accept SD, you may discover that it is difficult, if not impossible, to remain in the industry.
- Heightened Supervision (MC-400): Heightened supervision is a regulatory body’s equivalent of having a parole officer. You would work under the tutelage of a sponsor, usually branch manager or other supervisor, who is tasked with supervising you to prevent you from breaking any more rules in the future.
- Wells Notice: If FINRA believes that you have violated its rules, you will receive a Wells Notice. A Wells Notice is formal notification to you that FINRA/SEC intends to recommend that an enforcement action be brought against you. Upon receipt of a Wells Notice, your case would move to enforcement litigation. You will be afforded the opportunity to submit a written statement regarding the proposed violations and articulate reasons why you believe staff is misinterpreting the facts and/or lawyer that there is a compelling reason against bringing an action against you.
Contact a Florida Regulatory Defense Lawyer
The key to retaining your reputation in light of a formal regulatory investigation is understanding that no matter which way the investigation unfolds, each step of the process is a mine field that could seriously harm you and your career. When advisors and brokers understand this, they enter the investigation better prepared and equipped with the necessary legal representation.
If you received a formal inquiry, do not take chances on your future. You need to take immediate action to protect your rights. To schedule a fully confidential review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact the legal team today. Financial advisor defense lawyer Gregory Tendrich is standing by, ready to protect your legal rights and financial interests.