Practitioners are familiar with the fact that a failure to respond to a FINRA Rule 8210 request almost automatically results in an industry bar. Except when it doesn’t. The Office of Hearing Officers (the “OHO”) recently published a decision in which it discussed what the Hearing Officer referred to as a “partial but incomplete response” to FINRA’s requests for testimony.
In March, the OHO rendered a decision against Jason DiPaola who was accused by FINRA Enforcement of taking discretion in his mother’s E-trade account without written instructions and without disclosing the account to his employer Chardan Capital Markets, LLC (“Chardan”) in violation of NASD Rule 3050. Dep’t of Enforcement v. DiPaola, Discip. Proc. No. 2018057274302 (OHO Mar. 25, 2022). The OHO, however, claimed that the “most serious allegation” was DiPaola’s failure to appear and provide on-the-record (“OTR”) testimony.
DiPaola was not a trader at Chardan and had no retail customers. DiPaola worked in the firm’s equity capital markets group. DiPaola was first interviewed by FINRA Staff in January of 2018. The Staff obtained account statements for DiPaola’s E-trade accounts and his mother’s E-trade account. FINRA also obtained over a million e-mails from Chardan.