Thursday, July 16, 2009

Licensing, Registration


Which of the following represents a true statement concerning licensing and registration of registered representatives and investment adviser representatives?

A. passing a license exam constitutes the attainment of a license to sell securities or investment advice

B. upon passing a license exam a candidate is licensed subject to being granted a registration by the state

C. agents register with the SEC; investment adviser representatives register with FINRA

D. a conviction of misdemeanor theft does not need to be disclosed on Form ADV after 10 years


EXPLANATION: I wrote this question after receiving an email this morning from a customer studying the Series 65. He asked, "After getting a license do I need to register as an RIA?" In other words, he mistakenly thought that passing the exam = getting a license. And, he didn't realize that "license" and "registration" are two words for the same thing. Some states call it a "license," others call it a "registration." either way, passing an exam only allows you to APPLY for a license. Will you get one? Probably not if you have misdemeanor theft convictions in the previous 10 years. Believe it or not, Form ADV only goes back 10 years, while U-4 asks if you have EVER been convicted of securities-related misdemeanors or any felonies. Agents register with FINRA; IARs register with the state Administrator(s).


ANSWER:D

68 comments:

  1. Quick question: I'm in MO and just passed the 7 and will take the 66 in September, what do I have to do to complete the "licensing?"

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  2. For the Series 7, the broker-dealer files a U-4 with the state to apply for a securities agent license. You'll also have to register as an investment adviser representative of the investment adviser. Check out http://www.sos.mo.gov/securities/registration.asp

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    1. Hi my name is Anthony and I have 4 expunged convictions on my record from when I was 18-21 years old. Two are for receiving stolen property and one is for carrying a concealed weapon in a public place. I am 23 now. If I take and pass the series 65 which I know I will, what are my chances of being granted my license? Do you think they will grant my license?

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    2. Hi, Anthony. Your state Administrator will decide this one. You have no convictions if they were expunged, but you have to disclose the charges on U4 or Form ADV. Receiving stolen property is a red flag to a securities regulator. Not sure how they would view a concealed weapon. You haven't been in trouble in any financial services industry, so I don't see how they could say you are "not of good business repute," as some states do. All you're risking is the cost of materials and testing fees. I don't see a reason to assume the registration will be denied. You could also call the State Securities Department and--without giving your name--ask if they think the registration would be granted. Because, if they seem skeptical, you'd rather skip the application, since you do not end up with an official DENIAL order.

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    3. since you do not WANT to end up with an official DENIAL order.

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  3. Interested in aquiring the Series 7 and 66 license to obtain employment. I have a non-financial 1st degree felony conviction (1996-drug charge), will I be accepeted?

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  4. There is no absolute black-and-white answer here, but it is extremely likely that you will be granted a license. You first have to get hired by a broker-dealer to take the Series 7, and you will fill out the U-4 at that time. You will have to disclose the felony conviction on U-4 and then a "DRP" or disclosure reporting page. FINRA's statutory disqualification uses felonies in the past 10 years, but they also are lawyers, who take everything on a case-by-case basis. Beyond FINRA, you need a state securities license, and your state might be "cool" or very "uncool" about the felony conviction. Some states might say that selling drugs is a red flag because it is, ultimately, an illegal financial scheme. Others might view it as a youthful indiscretion. I'd say your chances are good. You'll know when you try to get hired by a broker-dealer. That might be the first roadblock that goes up, though--firms might not want to hire you; I hope that's not the case. Or--check this out--you could take the Series 65 and set yourself up as an adviser or "financial planner," charging people for your expertise . . . and you would not have to disclose anything that happened in 1996. Form ADV specifically asks about the past 10 years. The U-4 for agents asks if you have EVER been convicted. With lawyers writing the rules, there is ALWAYS an angle.

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  5. Hello Mr. Walker. My name is Nick and I have my heart set on becoming a Stock Broker. The only problem is I have a 2 year old felony dui conviction. Since than I have been sober, have been attending AA regularly which I can show proof of and am working towards my degree in finance. Do you think I have a good shot at obtaining my Series 7 or should I wait longer? Thank you very much.

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  6. Hi, Nick
    I would say that if you really want to enter the industry, you should go ahead and do so now. 8 years is too long to wait, and even after 8 years go by, you'll still have to answer "yes" when asked if you've ever been charged with, and convicted of, any felony on the U-4. So, the felony issue never completely goes away, anyway--I don't see an advantage in waiting. The felony has nothing to do with fraud, theft, counterfeiting, or embezzlement--they have to take that into consideration. If a broker-dealer will hire you, that indicates that you have a good shot, as you say. Firms don't want to waste any time filing U-4s unless they're pretty sure they can get the new hire registered.

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  7. I had a misdemeanor drug possession expunged from my record, will the Series 65 board know this or can I withhold this information. Furthermore, I have a DWI and 2 public intoxification arrests. All happened over 5 years ago. Will I be able to get a series 65 license? Thank you

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  8. a misdemeanor is only disclosed if it's "securities-related." You didn't get convicted of theft, fraud, forgery, perjury, etc. So, there's nothing to disclose there--not because of expungement, but because it's not securities-related. If the other convictions are all misdemeanors, you have nothing to disclose on U-4 for adviser reps or ADV for advisers.

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    1. This is not true. In my state (fla), you must disclose both felonies and misdemeanors related to wrongful taking of property (like shoplifting).

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    2. "securities-related" means any misdemeanor directly related to what a stockbroker or IAR does for a living: shoplifting, theft, fraud, burglary, perjury, counterfeiting, and forgery, etc. So, if it involves anything like above, it must be disclosed.

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    3. so, respectfully, it IS true, and now we understand our terms a little better. Thanks!

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  9. Hello Mr. Walker,

    When I was 18, now 28, i was running with the wrong group of friends and got caught up in a big fight and have a 2nd degree, aggravated assault conviction. After the conviction my life has changed completely. I took to studying and obtained an undergraduate degree in Finance and just recently completed my MBA in Accounting. I work for a CPA firm, where I've been employed for the past three years. I had my heart set on becoming a CPA and after applying for the CPA exam and getting my license, I disclosed everything to the board and after the board review my application was granted and I was given the opportunity to become a CPA. I am currently studying for the exam, passed one part, three more to go. Now here's the problem, I work for a CPA Firm, but the managing member is also a licensed securities agent and he keeps pushing me to take my Series 6. The gentleman who my managing member is under also keeps stopping by the office and pushing me to take the exam and join the family if you will. I would love to take the exam and I'm sure a have the wherewithal to pass, but the thing is I don't know if I will be able to or ever be able to become a licensed agent. The firm where I work never asked me to disclose that information on my job application three years ago so one can say they are in the dark. I am completely ashamed of my past and can not afford to loose my job. I really do not know what to do. I was hoping you could shed some light and give me your professional opinion on the licensing requirements. I figure if the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), determined me eligible than I may have a shot; nevertheless, I can't be certain. If you could help, it would be sincerely appreciated

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  10. The good news is that it happened more than 10 years ago, right? So, while you would have to disclose the felony charge and the felony conviction--and explain the situation in detail--FINRA would probably grant you a license. And, if this firm also sells securities, I would think they're more interested in getting you licensed and selling mutual funds than in making sure you never made a mistake when you were 18. What do the NASBA rules have to say about felony convictions?

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  11. Mr. Walker, thanks for your response. Well here's the thing, I was charged over ten years ago, but convicted 7 years ago. I kept rejecting the plea deal and held out for about three years, pushing for a trial. I finally broke and took the plea when I was 21. I did two and a half years in prison. While incarcerated I took college correspondence courses and my transformation began.

    Yes I agree, their main concern is to get me licensed and have me start selling mutual funds; but, is the risk-reward benefit in their favor on this one? They are a very well-known, reputable firm. The firm I work for is a small firm, but like previously stated the managing member has his license parked with the big, reputable firm so I would have to be cleared by them. This is such a convoluted situation.

    NASBA states one has to have over 150+ Hours of academic accreditation, 2 years of public accounting experience and be of good moral character. Well the former two requirements vary on the level of the University one attends, major, ect. The other if in public or private years of experience vary. On the application they asked if one has a conviction. I answered correctly, gave a detailed explanation, attached my court papers and wrote them a personal letter. It took awhile (4 months) to get approved, it had to be forwarded to the Attorney General's Office Division of Consumer Affairs, but I received a certified letter from the Attorney General, of my respected state, granting me the opportunity to become a CPA.

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  12. Looks like there's no way to predict this outcome. If it were me, I would probably try to avoid the securities licensing thing . . . but can you push back for 3 years? I don't like the felony conviction in the previous 10 years . . . although the fact that the NASBA overlooked it would be encouraging. If this SEries 6 issue isn't going away, it might be worth getting a consultation with a lawyer who works in this specialized area. Maybe Google "securities lawyers" ?

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  13. Well, I was finally able to convince them that I am not ready to take this exam. Reason being, my commitment to passing my CPA exam and not having enough time to squeeze in the securities licensing. It was a tough sell, but at the end of the day, my wishes were respected.

    I agree with you, I don't like the felony conviction on the previous 10 years. My plan is this; once I get licensed, I will be in a position to go into private practice. That said, at that point I'll tell the managing member of my firm the whole situation, with nothing to loose. If he let's me go, I'll get my unemployment check for a year, and put a 100% into building my own practice. If he decides he wants me to stay on, at least he'll stop pushing for the securities thing. I do have a legal question for you. Can he legally let me go after being employed with him for four years, for a conviction that is not work related? It's not like I lied on my application and the Board that he's under has accepted me so he can't even hang his hat on that.

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  14. sounds like employment law, and I have no expertise there. I don't see how or why you would be fired--you didn't lie on their application, and the NASBA reviewed it.

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  15. Change of plans, I told the partner of my firm the truth and he thought of me no less. He told me don't worry about anything, just pass the exam and he'll take care of the formalities. All he said is I owe him one. That said, I'll let you know how I make out with trying to get this Series 6 and if he has the clout he says he does.

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  16. There you go. It might not actually take any clout on his part, so don't owe him TOO much. ;) I don't think the word "trying" applies to a CPA taking the Series 6 . . . you'll pass it for sure. ;)

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  17. Thanks bud, your the man :)

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  18. I turned myself in late 2000 for a check (credit card account in the form of a check-check deception $40) & plead guilty just to get it behind me. I was ordered to pay a fine & they gave me voluntary probation where I paid a fee & as long as nothing happened within that 6-months, I would be fine. (Indiana). I am going through a background check with State Farm in (Michigan)....What do I do? Disclose this? Am I going to have trouble getting my securities license, or should I be ok? THANKS!

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  19. This has to be disclosed for sure. Sounds like it was a misdemeanor . . . ? but, it involves exactly the sort of red flag activity that makes FINRA and the state regulators nervous. It did happen slightly more than 10 years ago, apparently, which can help. I'm thinking you might have been charged with a felony--there's a "yes" answer. And you pled guilty to a misdemeanor involving theft/deception--another "yes" answer. You'll have to tell your story on DRPs (disclosure reporting pages) in connection with the U-4. I would not be surprised by any outcome here. I think you have a decent chance of getting registered, but I wouldn't be shocked if the registration were denied. Cooperating and disclosing everything is your best bet.

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  20. Hi Mr. Walker,

    I have misdemeanor (theft 2), it is the only thing on my record even including driving if it matters... My understanding is that because it is a theft (dishonorable) I would be automatically denied to register. However this misdemeanor has a funny story behind it - I left something on the bottom of my shopping cart, after paying for everything else and leaving the store without paying for the item on the bottom, it was accidental, none the less I was still convicted - My question is, does the circumstances matter in this case? It was about 15 months ago, so relatively recent.

    Thanks,

    AK

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  21. Sounds as if you might have been talking to some very low-level people in the business . . . ? Such people typically think there are automatic responses to everything when, in fact, FINRA and the state regulators take everything on a case-by-case basis. Sounds like an overzealous prosecutor to me--perhaps you live in a county where very little violent crime takes place? You'll have to disclose the theft conviction, and it will definitely be a red flag, but no one can say what will happen until it happens.

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  22. Mr. Walker.

    I am already a registered rep with both series7 and 66. I have to complete my ARQ for the year and it is asking if I had in the last year been arrest or convicted for anything more than a minor traffic violation. I had within the year been arrested for a DWI 1 that I am awaiting a court date on. So there is no conviction and my chance of not being convicted are promising. What should I answer on the annual regulatory questionnaire? Thanks

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  23. Hi, sounds like they're going to find out about it--you were arrested if the police told you "you're under arrest" and you have to answer the form truthfully. Right?

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  24. i have a dui conviction (2007) will this preclude my obtaining my series 65 registration?

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  25. if it's a misdemeanor, it's not even disclosed on U4 . . . although the regulators will probably find out about it and ask for documentation. It was not a felony conviction, correct?

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  26. Mr Walker,
    I appreciate your wisdom on this matters and hope i can proceed with my dreams. I was arrested in 2000 for "attempted forgery" which i made a plea and got a class a misdemeanor. I got a two years probation in which i finish it a successful completion of my probation i was discharged and the proceeding against me was dismissed. I need to get license for series 6,67 and 7; and on the license application they ask if i have "ever been convicted of a felony crime" Do i answer "NO" as i was convicted of a misdemeanor? or should i answer yes even though they are not asking me about misdemeanors? I have a clean record since then and it has pass almost 8 years since the completion of my probation.
    Thank you
    respectfully

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  27. Hi, I can't give legal advice, of course, but if I were asked if I'd been convicted of a felony crime, I would answer exactly what is being asked. But, it won't matter ultimately, as they'll find out if you fill out a U-4, which will ask about that misdemeanor conviction and the charge--both of which you'll have to disclose.

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  28. I was arrested in the year 2000 for domestic violence, but the case was dismissed. would i be able to get approved for the series 6 license?

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  29. doesn't seem to be an issue for the regulators to use against you. The broker-dealer will probably find out about the situation--as long as they still want to hire you, I don't see FINRA or your state trying to deny the license.

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  30. I want to apply and sit for the Series 65.I will be setting up my own company as an Investor Advisor that will be advising corporate entities on finding investments in and loans for large projects, not retail customers.

    I was arrested for a DUI early this year and during a search of my handbag they found the oxycodone that I have on prescription for severe back ache previously. I kept a few in my bag in case the pain started up again. It had been 4 months since I had the need for them and had forgotten they were in my bag. I was arrested for felony pocession of a narcotic. The charge was dropped by the DA when I presented a valid prescription and a doctor's letter regarding my need for the pain killers. I did plead guilty to the misdemenor DUI.

    How does this affect my application. I do not see on the U10 or the ADV or ADV part II where there are any disclosure requirements. Did I miss them or is there another form to fill in.

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  31. It's Item 11 on ADV, the first question. You'll have to answer "yes" that you were charged with a felony. Damn! I think you'll be okay, but be ready to show documentation, etc. A few pills is a felony, huh? Hope the cop had a good time telling the story over his 7th bourbon and water.

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  32. RW,

    I had a misdemeanor charge when I was in college because I took a balloon out of a gas station as a joke in a scavenger hunt. They charged me with theft under $50. Will this still rule me out of obtaining my 6 and 63?

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  33. It will not rule you out, but you must answer "yes" on U4 to being charged with a misdemeanor involving theft, and will probably have to provide documentation to FINRA. They will sweat you, but I would be surprised if you couldn't get registered/licensed.

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  34. Mr. Walker, my business partner has been a registered stock broker for 16 years with a clean license. Last spring he got into an "bar room brawl" and in self defense hit an attacker with a bottle he was holding. He is now forced to plead guilty to a felony charge (first offense) or go to trial where he could potentially face jail time (if he loses). He is petrified about the prospect of going to jail and will plead guilty to the felony. Is it possible for him to stay emplyed as a broker. The firm is not a tier 1, wire house, but legally with a felony can he still keep his job as a stockbroker as the felony was not related to theft etc..
    Thanks in advance for your advice

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  35. You're saying that he has a criminal defense attorney, and that he and his attorney have met with the "DA," who is offering no jail time in exchange for a guilty plea (probably tons of community service) . . . or, he can go to trial and risk jail time (or maybe get an acquital)? Right? First, he should update his U4 if he's been charged with a felony. Second, I think a felony conviction/guilty plea could easily end the career right then and there--notice how the U4 doesn't ask whether the FELONY was "investment-related" .. . a felony is a felony. He needs a really good criminal defense attorney and another attorney with experience in this area. His career, at the very least, is on the line. BTW, too bad he used a bottle--a punch is clearly self-defense, but a bottle? It's a mess, for sure. He needs the best legal talent he can afford about now. If he hasn't consulted with an attorney . . . well, please tell me that is not the case.

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  36. I have a misdemeanor charge dating back to 2005 for receiving stolen property. This also has a funny story behind it, because i never had any intention of obtaining any material gain by this theft charge. Me and a few friends were out one night drinking on the way home from the bar and I saw an old rusted rotary blade mower sitting at the edge of a guys lawn. We decided it would be funny to take it around the neighborhood cutting lawns with it, well cops showed up and I got a receiving charge. Is it possible I can ever obtain a series 7 licence because of this? I really only took the property because it looked like garbage sitting near the sidewalk, it was a "lawn ornament" apparently. It happened almost 7 years ago, and I have 1 year left in school.

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  37. It's possible you can still get in the business, but the regulators will sweat you. Not sure intent is relevant in a receiving-stolen-property charge. If you have stolen property in your possession . . . Anyway, I wish it were more than 10 years ago. You'll have to disclose everything and provide court documentation. If this is an isolated incident, they might cut you some slack.

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  38. Good Afternoon, I as convicted of felony fraud for taking money out of my boyfriends checking account when i was 18.. they also charge with make or altering as a federal misdemeanor. I have gotten the state felony charge pardoned. Will i still have an issue getting my life insurance lisc? if so what would be a good route to take??

    Thank you for your knowledge!!

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  39. You would have issues with FINRA if getting into the securities industry, and all life insurance folks eventually have to do that. How old are you now?

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  40. Good Evening Mr Walker,

    I pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for interrupting the public administration, I was initially charged with a felony and this is a public matter, it shows on my records that I was on possesion of a fake id and show it to a public officer, I did not fake this document and I did not have a good advice from my lawyer, I though I was only pleading guilty to a violation, and I though I was not even having a record until I found out I did. Now I would like to apply for a stock broker position where they will train me to apply for the exam. I would like to know what are my chances of getting hired by this company with my record, will I have to disclose this information on the exam and in the company. Thank You, I aprreciate your help.

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    1. This will definitely be a problem, but I wouldn't say you can't get in the business. You'll have to say YES you were charged with a felony and YES you were both charged and convicted of a securities-related misdemeanor. Disclose, provide documents, cooperate.

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    2. Hi Mr. Walker,

      My question is disclosing a misdemeanor (larceny) charge that was ultimately dropped and erased by the state. It was the taking of beer and trying to walk out without paying when I was underage. This was 6 years ago and it doesn't show up on any of my FBI/state checks. Does this have to be disclosed and is it a huge deal?

      Thanks

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    3. yes, that's a problem--wish I'd seen this earlier. Larceny in the previous 10 years will cause hurdles. It definitely must be disclosed.

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  41. I currently have my 6 and 63. I was recentlt charged for a felony dui. I have not been covicted. I am still going to court. I am currently employed at a firm that sells mostly life and health. I am a district manager. I hire agents, train them, and manage thier production. Will I be able to keep my securities licenses if I am convicted?

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  42. Nothing is automatic. If you could keep it to a misdemeanor, FINRA would have no reason to mess with you. If it's a felony, you're vulnerable.

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  43. I am getting ready to accept a position where I will be taking the series 6 and 63. When I was 17 I took a plea deal for a misdemeanor theft that was later expunged from my record. I am now 35 years old. Will this give me an issue? Do I have to disclose this since it was over 10 years, expunged, and not stealing money? (property theft).
    Thanks

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    1. The truthful answers are probably YES--I was charged with a felony. NO--I was not convicted of a felony. YES--I was charged with an investment-related misdemeanor. NO--I was not convicted (because it was expunged).
      See the beauty of the U4? They now know there is MUCH to be looked into in your past. They can see your conviction was expunged based on your answers, and everything will come back into the light. If you answer incorrectly; game over.

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  44. Hi Mr Walker,

    I was charged and convicted of a misdemeanor of petty theft in 2008 (my 1st and only misdemeanor & when I was only 19 years old). I already completed my 3 years probation and I was granted for a dismissal (or expungement) earlier on this year. I just graduated and currently seeking for a financial advisor position.

    My lawyer had told me that I do not need to disclose my previous conviction to any employer when I am applying for a job, because it was already expunged and that was the whole point of filing the expungement.

    question 1) Am I still suppose answer yes or no on the U4, regarding to the questions of "ever been charged" or "ever been convicted of a misdemeanor" ?

    question 2) When I do disclose my expunged conviction to the FINRA, can my employer fire me because of that?

    Thank you very much in advance.

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  45. Uh-oh. I don't want your lawyer coming after me for practicing law without a license, but it appears he was wrong. Based on my reading of FINRA's FAQ on this topic, a CONVICTION is expunged . . . but you were still CHARGED with that crime. In other words, FINRA always finds out. They don't quite say you MUST disclose you were charged when the conviction was expunged; they say you MAY still need to. Which means to me--you need to. So, sounds like that lawyer hasn't worked this small niche of the legal profession before--in GENERAL you wouldn't have to disclose it on a job application, but if you want to join an exclusive club like FINRA, you'll go through their induction rites. I myself quite the Kappa Sigma fraternity after 6 weeks or so because I didn't like their initiation process. We parted amicably. So, please consult an attorney who does FINRA and state-regulatory cases. See if I'm not right when I say the correct answers for an expunged conviction are YES, I was charged and NO, I was not convicted. Which is good--a charge is not a game-over. Answering these questions incorrectly, however, is. I would say your employer can have a policy that no one with any conviction can be hired. In any case, the truth is never as bad as being caught omitting the truth in this case. Bottom line: FINRA will find out no matter HOW you answer these questions. Right? So, how do you want to answer them? FULL DISCLOSURE. It was PETTY theft. The "theft" part is a major red flag, but you were 19. Then again, looks like you're still only 23 or so. Not exactly a wizened old man (sorry to assume your gender; but 97% of these comments come from men).

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  46. I want to take the nasd series 65 exam but I don’t have any idea on how it is being done. Is there any necessary learning materials for this that will keep us my guide to be able to pass the said test?

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  47. Hi, Jennifer (someone actually uses her name!) . . . the Series 65 is taken at either the Prometric or Pearson testing centers. It is administered by FINRA (formerly NASD) on behalf of NASAA. You can find the "study guides", which are just outlines, at www.nasaa.org, if you scroll all the way to the bottom and click "exams." If you're at least a decent reader, get our full package at www.passthe65.com and follow the study schedule--there are four book chapters, and we divide the material according to the NASAA study guide to help minimize confusion. Focus hard on the practice question in ExamCram Online. And, many people add online tutoring services to get themselves over this hurdle.

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  48. here is a free resource, too . . .thru the weekend . . . http://bigfilespassthetest.com/webinar

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  49. Hi, I am a 31-year old law school graduate with two prior misdemeanor convictions on my DOJ record which have both been expunged: (1) petty theft in 2000; and (2) larceny in 2012 (for using a CC not belonging to me). Like I said, both charges are misdemeanors and been expunged by the State. Do I have any chance of getting a license in any securities field?

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  50. you have an excellent chance of getting licensed unless you say "no," you were never charged with a misdemeanor relating to the industry.

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  51. Hi, I am 23 and currently seeking to become a financial advisor. I got an offer and the employer is going to run a background check.

    I was charged with misdemeanor possession of a false ID, but the charges were dismissed. I know this will show up on the background check, so hopefully the company will still hire me.

    My question is: Will I be able to get licensed? The charges were all dismissed, but something like a fake ID could cause a red flag.

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    1. it's a MAJOR red flag. But . . it was a charge and no conviction. So, I would fear the decision of the employer more than FINRA's here. How did it work out?

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  52. I don't know if you still give registration advice here or not but figured I'd give it a try anyway. About 9 years ago I was convicted of Fraudulent Check (misdemeanor). The situation was, I ordered a pizza while I was moving, and when it was delivered I didn't have cash on me. The drive said they took checks, so I wrote one for $16. However, the check book I used was the wrong one. Back-Story to that, a few months before someone got into my checking account so they made me close it and open a new one. They gave me a new card and checks. When I wrote this check I used the old one instead of the new one. Naturally, the $16 didn't get paid. By the time I figured it out, there was already a warrant. So I paid the $16 plus a $75 fine. Obviously when I get asked the question about fraud,even though none of it was really fraud in my opinion, I have to put yes. I am being offered a financial advisor job with a good company, but I am reluctant to quit my current job and accept it due to this misdemeanor. What are your thoughts on me being able to get registered for series 7 and 66?

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  53. Getting registered doesn't seem that difficult. If you disclose it to the employer, they can tell you whether to keep your current job or whether they're confident the regulators will see this for what it is. A mistake that you can explain with documentation.

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  54. Mr. Walker, you seem to have significant knowledge regarding registration issues as they pertain to criminal charges. And, I am learning that is not easy to find. I have been charged with a felony DUI in the state of Oklahoma. In my state, a second DUI charge within 10 years is automatically files as a DUI. I work as a self-employed registered rep affiliated with a broker-dealer in California; and as an Investment Advisor Rep with an independent investment advisory firm here in Oklahoma. 80% of my business is on the investment advisory side of my practice and, easily, most of my broker-dealer business could be converted to advisory, fee-based business should I decide to do so. The DA is offering me the chance to plead guilty to the felony charge and defer the final judgement (no jail time, the charge is dropped if no other issues for 5 years). As you know, FINRA, for some reason, considers that to be the same as a conviction. I am contemplating dropping my FINRA registration and affiliating only with the investment advisory firm here in Oklahoma. Will a felony guilty plea agreement as I have described prevent me from functioning as an investment advisor if I lose my FINRA registration (the advisory firm manages less than $100 million)?

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  55. If you plead guilty to a felony, I think you will be out of the industry for 10 years. The SEC and state Administrators would be just as troubled by a felony conviction/guilty plea as is FINRA. What is your criminal defense attorney advising here?

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  56. I am looking into becoming a financial planner. I have 2 petite larceny charges that were 2014 & 2015. I was going through depression at the time, my younger sister passed away unexpectedly, a month before my wedding. I'm not sure that matters but I am doing better and put myself through a rehabilitation class. I don't want to go through the schooling and find out I wasted my time and money if I can't get registered. So my question is what are my chances of passing?

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  57. Charges do not lead to statutory disqualification. If either was a conviction, I would hate to be filling out a Form U4 with that information.

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