Courts call a lifetime bar “the securities industry equivalent of capital punishment.” PAZ Sec. Inc. v. SEC, 494 F.3d 1059, 1065 (D.C. Cir. 2007). It is a draconian measure which not only permanently removes you from the securities industry but also subjects you to “statutory disqualification” under Section 3(a)(39)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and all the collateral consequences that come with it.
Given the seriousness of a lifetime bar, a recently released AWC presents an alarming fact pattern in which a supervisor was barred due to the transgressions of an FA he failed to properly supervise. Let’s consider the case of Michael Leahy, FINRA Case No. 2019063631802. The question is, why did FINRA go after the supervisor with guns blazing?
The Applicable Rule: FINRA Rule 3110