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If you’re being investigated by FINRA, it’s important you understand how, and why, FINRA is investigating you. It’s critical you understand how FINRA conducts its investigations, and why it decides to charge you. It’s also important you hire a FINRA defense attorney who will actively work to protect your rights, and create a strategy to help with the situation you’re in. The right FINRA defense attorney can help you understand the investigation, and navigate it. This is a stressful situation. Having the wrong attorney can make it even more stressful.

Hire a FINRA Defense Lawyer 

FINRA investigations begin as an inquiry. FINRA staff issue a Rule 8210 request, which seeks documents and answers concerning a matter. The response you give is important, it locks you into a story. Our FINRA defense attorneys understand how important this step is, and actively work to prevent you from putting yourself into a situation where you are in danger, or will be charged.

Regardless of which stage you’re at, our attorneys can help you navigate it.

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Finra Defense Attorneys

Our team of attorneys is knowledgable, experienced, and respected. If you need a lawyer for a financial, or regulatory, matter, you want our FINRA defense attorneys on your side. We can help with a wide array of situations:

  • Defense for FINRA / SEC examinations, and enforcement actions
  • General advice regarding FINRA and SEC compliance
  • Drafting industry documents
  • Assistance with registration, MC-400 cases with FINRA, and more
  • Counsel regarding U4/U5 and other forms
  • Arbitration matters before FINRA dispute resolution
  • Representation and counsel for brokers dealing with CFP Board Investigations

FINRA is a self regulated organization which is responsible for enforcing all FINRA rules, and securities laws. FINRA looks at broker-dealers, registers broker-dealers, and their representatives. In addition, FINRA has its own arbitration dispute resolution system. FINRA operates under the SEC.

FINRA disciplinary investigations are VERY serious, and can end your career. If you’re involved in a FINRA investigation, it’s important you speak to a FINRA defense and investigation attorney. FINRA’s enforcement division looks closely for violations of FINRA rules, and securities law. These investigations can be triggered by many things, such as:

  • Complaints from clients
  • Periodic examinations of brokers and dealers
  • FINRA monitoring trading on the exchanges
  • Disclosures made on U4 and U5 forms
  • Referrals from state, and federal, agencies

If you get a FINRA rule 8210 letter of inquiry, it’s important you hire an attorney who can advise you. Under FINRA rule 8210, FINRA can compel testimony or production of documents from individuals and firms through a letter of inquiry.

If you fail to cooperate with a FINRA investigation, it can put you at risk of being removed from the securities industry. FINRA has super broad powers. It can require you to provide documents, answer questions, or more. If you get a Rule 8210 letter, it’s important you speak to an attorney who can give you advice. If you receive a letter of inquiry from FINRA, don’t make any statements or product documents before consulting with a FINRA investigation defense attorney.

Many brokers often get a Rule 8210 letter. The right response to this letter can help you resolve a FINRA investigation. If you say too much, or provide too much information, it could cascade your situation. One of the mistakes people make is ignoring a Rule 8210 letter. Refusing to cooperate, refusing to provide testimony – even if you invoke your 5th amendment rights, is a failure to cooperate and can result in your expulsion from the securities industry.

FINRA can impose several penalties

If you fail to respond, or fail to cooperate fully, FINRA can impose fines and kick you out of the securities industry. Bottom line, it pays to hire an attorney who can handle this for you. If FINRA investigates and determines you have violated the rules, FINRA can impose fines and penalties. Such fines and penalties could be career-ending.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Penalties Can FINRA Impose?

If you fail to respond to a FINRA investigation, or 8210 letter, FINRA can impose fines and remove you from the industry. They can suspend, or revoke, your registration. If you’re being investigated by FINRA, you shouldn’t rely on your firm’s attorney to represent you. The attorney works for the firm, and will likely put their interests above yours. Any mistake in the investigation can destroy your career. You want an attorney who represents you, and is looking out for you. Your employer might tell you that you’re not the focus of the investigation – but could be lying.

What does FINRA do?

FINRA is a regulatory organization which oversees the brokerage industry. FINRA conducts investigations and looks into violations of FINRA rules. FINRA also looks, and examines, broker-dealers, and their representatives. FINRA also does arbitration dispute resolution, and handles disputes between brokerages and customers, financial advisors, and other involved parties. FINRA operates under the SEC.

FINRA also handles disciplinary investigations which are serious issues and can end your career. If you’re a financial advisor, you should speak to a FINRA defense attorney.

FINRA’s enforcement division investigates violations of FINRA rules. These investigations are usually initiated by a number of reasons, such as:

  • customer complains
  • customer files arbitration
  • FINRA does an examination of brokers
  • FINRA monitors trades
  • U4 disclosures and U5 forms
  • referrals from federal and state agencies
What’s a FINRA 8210 letter of inquiry?

Under FINRA rule 8210, FINRA is authorized to compel testimony and can compel production of documents from individuals and firms. FINRA does this by issuing a letter of inquiry. FINRA 8210 letters can require you to produce documents and information for anything tied to a customer. FINRA can force you to document your firms activities, outside business contacts, and more. If you get a 8210 letter of inquiry from FINRA, it’s important you hire a FINRA attorney immediately.

Because FINRA has the power to compel any broker dealer to produce documents and information, it’s important that any on the record interview is done with the help of a finra defense attorney.

It’s important you speak to an attorney to understand how your possible answers can impact your future. 8210 letters should be taken seriously. Depending on the facts, it might be in your best interest to invoke the 5th amendment before you accidentally say something controversial that harms you. Depending on what you say, there could be possible charges brought by federal or state agencies. When you refuse to cooperate with a FINRA investigation, it can be catastrophic.

You shouldn’t automatically refuse to cooperate with FINRA. FINRA can bring disciplinary actions and have you sanctioned, or kicked out of the industry, if you fail to respond to an 8210 letter.

If you receive an 8210 letter, it means an investigation by FINRA is underway. It also means, now is the time to hire a FINRA defense lawyer to help you.

How should I respond to an 8210 letter?

The right response can solve a FINRA investigation. If you say too much, or provide incriminating documents, you might expand the scope of a FINRA investigation. You could make yourself a target of an investigation, instead of simply being a witness/tangential party. Even if you have done nothing wrong, you could get involved if you don’t respond, or respond incorrectly to an 8210 letter.

It’s imperative you hire a FINRA defense attorney to represent you as soon as you learn of any possible FINRA investigation.

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