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Award Date: December 12, 2022
Hearing Site: Boca Raton, Florida
Claimant Representative: Tad Burton, J.D.
An Illinois advisor spent his first 15 years in the industry with a criminal disclosure on his record that had resulted from an incident that occurred while he was in college. The advisor sought the help of AdvisorLaw in seeking expungement of the disclosure.
In 2001, while in college in Iowa, this now-advisor was cited with felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. The charge was later amended to misdemeanor possession of marijuana, along with a misdemeanor public intoxication charge. He pled guilty and was convicted. He received 180 days probation and fines totaling about $470. He completed payment of the fines in May of 2008. About three months later, he joined the securities industry. After living with the disclosure on his public BrokerCheck and CRD records for nearly 15 years, the advisor was tired of dealing with the mark, and he hired AdvisorLaw.
The advisor had a strong aversion to returning to Iowa, and AdvisorLaw’s Tad Burton, J.D. did his best to achieve the expungement without requiring the advisor to appear in person. First, Mr. Burton helped the advisor submit an application to expunge the case from all records in the State of Iowa. In October 2022, the State of Iowa reviewed the advisor’s application, the docket, and the case financial history. It found that more than eight years had passed since the conviction, all financial obligations had been satisfied in full, the advisor had no pending charges in any jurisdiction in the U.S., he had not previously been granted two deferred judgments, and he had not previously expunged a misdemeanor conviction under that Iowa code. Therefore, the clerk expunged the charges from the record, pursuant to the Iowa code.
Then on November 30, 2022, once confirmation of Iowa’s expungement of the record was received, Mr. Burton submitted to FINRA a request for the removal of the criminal disclosure from the BrokerCheck and CRD systems. Therein, Mr. Burton described the case history and presented his arguments as to why the case should be expunged from the advisor’s CRD and BrokerCheck records, including the facts that it was currently causing harm to the advisor’s professional reputation and that it did not serve the interests of the investing public.
FINRA reviewed the documentation from the State of Iowa, as well as the advisor’s records and Mr. Burton’s written request and arguments.
Less than two weeks after receiving the request, on December 13, 2022, a FINRA analyst responded. He confirmed that FINRA’s review of the advisor’s BrokerCheck dispute form had been completed, pursuant to the provisions of FINRA Rule 8312, and the dispute had been approved. Based on FINRA’s review, the disclosure was removed from the advisor’s BrokerCheck report. The process was completed from start to finish, and the advisor had not even been required to appear.
Finally free of the ongoing damage caused by a simple misstep back in college, this advisor may now pursue further employment and more customers without the need to explain a criminal disclosure.
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