Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Florida Adopts Discliplinary Guidelines for Dealers, Investment Advisers and Associated Persons

Disciplinary guidelines applicable to each ground for which disciplinary action may be taken against an individual or firm were adopted by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, effective November 22, 2010. The guidelines as contained in the "Office of Financial Regulation, Division of Securities, Disciplinary Guidelines for Dealers, Investment Advisers and Associated Persons" specify a range of penalties based on the severity and repetition of specific offenses, and distinguish minor violations from violations that endanger the public health, safety or welfare, provide reasonable notice to the public of the penalties imposed for proscribed conduct and ensure that the penalties are imposed in a consistent manner, but listed mitigating or aggravating circumstances allow the Office to impose penalties other than those specified in the guidelines. Disqualification periods relate to crimes involving dealer, investment adviser, issuer, associated person or branch office applicants or registrants, or crimes involving moral turpitude or fraudulent or dishonest dealing. Disqualification periods suspending applicants from registration are based on criminal convictions or pleas of nolo contendere or guilt and include up to 5 days for a level A suspension, 6 to 30 days for level B suspension and over 30 days for a level C suspension. Fines range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the level of the fine from A to D. Applicants are not eligible to register until their disqualifying period expires.

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