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Award Date: March 10, 2022
Claimant Representative: Tad Burton, J.D.
An advisor based in the Midwest sought to expunge three criminal disclosures from his public records with FINRA Registration.
In the early 2000s, the advisor accidentally wrote two bad checks — each under $100 — to two different vendors. The advisor was 20 years old at the time, and he didn’t manage his checkbook register accurately. The advisor was unaware that he had written the bad checks and that they had been returned for insufficient funds. He became aware of the charges when police went to his home and arrested him for failing to appear at his court date.
The advisor had two court cases — one for each charge of writing a bad check. One case was dismissed upon payment of restitution. The advisor was sentenced to six months of probation, in addition to being ordered to pay restitution for the second case.
The earliest disclosure on the advisor’s CRD record related to a dismissed charge that had been acquired when he was in high school. The matter had been dismissed, because the advisor had been innocent of the accusation, and the court subsequently lacked the evidence necessary for the charge to hold. Afterward, the case was automatically sealed to protect the personal information of a minor, per state law. However, the charge remained a criminal disclosure on the advisor’s CRD record.
Through written correspondence, AdvisorLaw’s Tad Burton, J.D. sought expungement of the advisor’s three criminal disclosures with FINRA Registration. Focusing on one disclosure at a time, Mr. Burton explained the background of each situation and what had transpired that led to each disclosure. Documents were provided to Registration in support of each dispute. The two disclosure removal requests for each charge of writing a bad check were approved by FINRA. FINRA removed both disclosures from the advisor’s record and sent a letter confirming the removal of each disclosure.
In response to the disclosure dispute relating to the earliest incident, FINRA responded that, despite the charge being ineligible for expungement per state law, the disclosure would be archived and would not appear on BrokerCheck or the IAPD. FINRA contacted the advisor’s employer and requested that it update the advisor’s Form U4. Within a few weeks, the advisor’s BrokerCheck profile showed zero disclosures — all three were successfully removed.