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The financial industry, including the stock and commodity markets across the globe, is very complex and important. Those that are skilled in the field may find that there are investment opportunities that can give them an unfair edge on the rest of the market. In some situations, these advantages can actually be illegal and regulatory bodies may want to take action. One organization that can take action against individuals and investment firms is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which is commonly referred to as FINRA.
Today, FINRA is the largest independent regulation in the United States. The organization aims to protect investors by making sure that all investors, investment firms, and publicly traded companies operate ethically and within the law. While it is not officially linked to the SEC or other law enforcement industry, FINRA has the ability to set forth disciplinary actions that need to be taken seriously. Those that are charged with a disciplinary action could face a variety of potential penalties due to their past actions.
Issues Covered by FINRA
Overall, FINRA covers a variety of different issues that are of a concern to investors and the overall integrity of the markets. Some of the most common issues that FINRA will cover and investigate include fraud, misrepresentation, insider trading, and other illegal and unethical acts involving publicly traded securities and commodities. In most situations, FINRA will provide suggested disciplinary actions that people are suggested to follow.
In most cases, people that are provided with disciplinary actions set forth by FINRA will not have to face jail time. Most of these cases are handled outside of the courtroom and are settled outside of court. FINRA will generally set forth actions that are meant to discipline those that are guilty of certain acts. Some of the most common penalties that FINRA will suggest will include financial penalties, suspension of trading rights, and even a permanent ban from being able to trade or work in the financial markets. They may also provide additional suggestions to an employer that can recommend terminating employment.
While FINRA cases are generally handled outside of the legal system, FINRA can still provide suggestions to the SEC, FBI, and other federal agencies. These agencies are then permitted to pursue additional charges that could include criminal felonies that could result in even further and more significant penalties than those that are set forth by FINRA.
Hiring a Defense Lawyer
If you are the recipient of a disciplinary action set forth by FINRA, you should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer immediate. You should find one that has experience in negotiating with FINRA, which will help to ensure that your case moves smoothly and that your rights are properly represented.
Depending on the scope of the situation, the attorney will also help you to prepare for defense against further criminal charges. FINRA will be able to provide guidance as to whether they will be forwarding your case on further, which will give you a sense as to whether you should expect investigations by other parties.