FINRA Takes Disciplinary Action Against Two Florida Companies
According to reporting from the South Florida Business Journal, two Boca Raton companies, Newbridge Securities Corp and Shearson Financial Financial Services LLC, have been disciplined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Newbridge was accused of overcharging customers in relation to sales orders, as a result they have agreed to pay a fine of $115,000 along with $188,000 in financial restitution. Shearson Financial was charged with inaccurately marking orders as unsolicited when they were actually solicited. They agreed to pay $100,000 in fines. Both companies declined to admit any wrongdoing as part of their settlement agreements.
FINRA and Enforcement
In this case, FINRA has taken active enforcement measures against these two companies in an effort to help keep things fair for consumers. FINRA is a private organization that is responsible for regulating investment brokers. More specifically, the organization regulates equities, options, futures and corporate bonds. They are able to fine companies because all registered investment brokers have agreed to operate under their authority. Not only can FINRA fine companies, but when necessary, they also have the authority to suspend and expel both firms and individuals from the industry. In 2014, FINRA reported the following enforcement stats:
- 1,512 disciplinary actions were brought;
- $95.1 million in fines were levied;
- 736 individuals were suspended;
- 496 individuals were barred from the industry;
- 25 firms were suspended; and
- 31 firms were expelled from the industry.
FINRA Helps Facilitate Dispute Resolution
Beyond directly enforcing regulations, FINRA also operates a process of non-judicial alternative dispute resolution. Most often, this is done through arbitration. Thus far in 2016, (through July 31st) 2,146 arbitration cases have been filed. The process of arbitration itself can be thought of as a mini-trial. There are many important steps, including:
- The proper and timely filing of a claim;
- The selection of the appropriate arbitrator for the case in question;
- The pre-trial conference;
- The discovery process; and
- The hearing itself.
After the conclusion of a hearing, a final decision will be issued. Typically, this decision will come around 30 days from the date of the hearing. FINRA decisions are fully binding. Additionally, while you may appeal such a decision in court, it is very difficult to get a FINRA arbitration decision overturned. This means that you need to get your case right the first time. In the event that you are going through the FINRA arbitration process, it is imperative that you have an experienced investment fraud lawyer by your side throughout the entirety of the process. Your lawyer will be able to comprehensively review the individual aspects of your claim and help you determine how to best protect your legal rights.
Were You the Victim of Investment Fraud?
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our attorneys have represented many fraud victims before FINRA arbitration panels. If you have been the victim of investment fraud, please do not hesitate to contact our team today at 1-(305)-372-9700 to schedule your initial legal consultation. Our firm is based in Miami and we represent fraud victims throughout South Florida.