Thursday, September 24, 2009

Felony Drug Conviction

I just received an interesting question from a blog visitor, but he placed it after a blog written in July, and the content is just too important to leave it there, where it might get lost in the shuffle. He wrote:

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



I responded:

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, though, to take the Series 7, and this could be the first roadblock. The firm might not want to hire any convicted felons, period. If you do get hired, you'll complete a Form U-4, and you will have to disclose the 1996 drug conviction and then explain it in detail on a DRP (disclosure reporting page). FINRA generally only uses the things that happened in the past 10 years against you, but you also have to get a salesperson or "securities agent" license from your state regulator. They might view a drug conviction as a red flag, because it represents an illegal financial scheme--they might see it in the same category as counterfeiting. Others might see it as a one-time event, a youthful indiscretion, etc.
If you can't get in as a securities agent, you could actually just take the Series 65 exam, then register your own LLC as an investment adviser through Form ADV. This form only asks about things that happened in the past 10 years, which means you don't even have to disclose the drug conviction from 1996.
With lawyers writing the rules, there is always an angle.

267 comments:

  1. I have already have my series 7 and 63 and Florida Life and Annuity in the state of Florida. In March of 2009 I was convicted on a felony drug charge and am serving 5 years probation. I would like to know if I would still be able to maintain my licenses. I have not worked in the industry since 2007. That is when my business partner embezzeled from me. I was looking for work and did something stupid. Will I be able to continue in the field?

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  2. If you haven't worked in the industry since 2007, you would have to re-take the Series 7 and 63, with or without the felony conviction. After two years of non-use, people have to requalify by examination. Nothing is black-and-white in this industry, but a felony within 10 years usually prevents people from getting licensed. After 10 years, you'd still have to disclose it on U-4; however, you could set up an advisory business and NOT disclose it on Form ADV. Pull up Form ADV - - it specifically asks only about the previous 10 years. Also, sometimes FINRA and/or the states will make exceptions for applicants who were convicted of certain felonies or securities-related misdemeanors, even if they happened within 10 years.

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  3. " Also, sometimes FINRA and/or the states will make exceptions for applicants who were convicted of certain felonies or securities-related misdemeanors, even if they happened within 10 years."

    Have you personally come across these cases where the applicants petitioned and the FINRA made exceptions to the 10 year rule? And do you know the process for such a petition? A colleague of mine is in the same predicament where his felony is not related to the financial industry. Appreciate your help.

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  4. What about a similar question to the one above, but where the person is employed w a series 7 for a firm and gets convicted of a drug felony? Further, its a first offense and the person is in treatment. The person in ? just got charged with a drug felony and might plea bargain for no jail time.

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  5. good points--the 10-year statutory disqualification applies to both active rep's and applicants. it's not typical that the drug-treatment angle would come into play, since that sounds like possession, not distribution or manufacture of drugs, which is usually a misdemeanor. If he gets charged with a felony, he has to update U-4. If he pleads down to a misdemeanor, one not involved with "money crimes," FINRA does not necessarily kick him out. But the firm might fire him. I'll try to find some examples of people being let in even with a felony in the previous 10 years. But, it will probably take a while.

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  6. In a situation were a person was charged with a misdemeanor within the last 10 years, but the charges were dismissed (nolle prosequi and PTI), this has to be disclosed as being charged with a misdemeanor, correct? Will this show up on a FINRA broker check search?

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  7. As usual, I asked FINRA, and FINRA provided no clarification whatsoever. That's okay, I've learned everything else without their help, so let's figure it out--does the misdemeanor involve forgery, fraud, perjury, theft, extortion, counterfeiting, check-kiting, etc.? If so, it's "securities-related," and the charge must be disclosed. And it would be searchable through broker-check. Since FINRA can't, apparently, answer a simple question with a simple answer, that's the best that I can determine. It would take too long to try to find a real-world example through broker-check. BTW, I searched through two years of SEC decisions and found no example of someone being let in in spite of a felony drug conviction. It would be a rare exception, apparently, if the SEC did that at FINRA's request . . . or that FINRA would even make that request.

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  8. hello i have been charged with felony forgery in 2009, however i got deferred sentence for two years. Once i complete my probation for two years my felony forgery charge will be dismissed. I didnt update my form U4 in 2009 but once my firm found out this year they updated through form U5 and i have been discharged from the firm. My criminal information is disclosed on brokercheck now.

    currently FINRA is under investigating on me not updating U4 in timely manner. Is this an example of statutory disqualificaiton. What is my chance of re entering securities industry? currently i am holding a series 7 and 66. Can i still pursue this career or move on to a different industry?

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  9. Forgery is a major red flag. To follow it up by omitting important information on your U-4 further indicates to FINRA that you have an issue with the whole deception/dishonesty thing. There is so much sensitive information on customers provided to a registered representative that FINRA isn't likely to show any mercy or issue anything short of a "bar." Then again, if you provide any information they request and fully cooperate with the process, that could help. If you could get them to suspend as opposed to bar you, that would be worth a lot. Suspensions are temporary while, on the other hand, anyone who refuses to cooperate with a FINRA investigation is barred, game over. So, if you cooperate, maybe you'll end up with a nasty fine and a six-month suspension. I would bet on a "bar," but everything is done on a case-by-case method. There's no automatic answer here. You have two years before your licenses lapse; see what happens with the FINRA investigation. Cooperate with them. And be totally righteous in all your dealings with customers if you get back in--they're worried that you'll, for example, tell a client to liquidate a deferred annuity in order to sell her one of yours, then sign her name to the annuity-switch paperwork, keeping her in the dark about the $8,000 surrender charge. That kind of stuff happens often in the business, which is why even misdemeanor forgery would cause problems. You'd need to talk to an attorney with experience representing people in similar cases. Good luck--thanks for commenting.

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  10. You're an eloquent and gracious person Mr. Walker. I appreciate your advice! I presently am serving a sentence of 4 months house-arrest, followed by 4y8m of probation. My crime is federal; drug distribution, schedule 3 (lowest).

    To my amazement, during sentencing, the judge verbosely complimented me on my abilities, intellect, aptitude, management, etc. etc. (literally). He encouraged me to find "a socially productive life". I [do] think he'd drop it to a misdemeanor if I had a contingency for a 'socially productive' career. That said, it is low-percentage that he'd do so within the probationary period, if at all. But if he were to, how would that affect the process? Is it the original conviction that necessitates disclosure? Or the current status of the conviction?

    Do you have any knowledge on CA? Are states sometimes more strict in criterion than the Federal? Where and how would you search to find examples of this - and if you have no algorithm, and you do search on my behalf, please tell me what search terms/method/engine you used to find such results.

    Presently, a colleague of mine is willing and able to employ me with full knowledge of the aforementioned.

    Thanks again!

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  11. If you're trying to work as a securities agent for a broker-dealer, you'll need FINRA to make an exception under their statutory disqualification rules. There is no way to predict what FINRA will do until you apply, unfortunately. The conviction has to be disclosed on U-4--forever. Then, you tell your story by attaching "DRPs" or "disclosure reporting pages." Then, maybe you (and your attorney) can convince FINRA that they should make an exception. If you're applying as an investment adviser representative, it will be up to the state (California, apparently) to decide if they want to let you in. Not sure how to do the search. Maybe go to Google and look up phrases like "statutory disqualification relief FINRA." And, you could always start the U-4 process with your colleague--what's the worst that can happen? You're not in the business now--if they deny your application, you won't be in the business then. I guess a "denial" order form California would be bad, but your situation is already pretty grim in terms of getting into the securities business. Good luck out there.

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  12. Does 'denial' in one state preclude you from applying in another? Do you have to disclose to AZ that you were denied in CA? I'd assume you have to be approved by the state you work in... but can an AZ broker have CA clients?

    Thanks again. :)

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  13. A denial order issued by a state regulator can be used as a reason to deny you a license by any other state. To serve any retail brokerage clients in California, you would need to be licensed in CA, even if your office is in Arizona. An adviser or IAR in AZ can have 5 non-institutional clients in California without registering there. But the states have access to the database that will show them your conviction. So, Arizona would subject you to the same rigors as California. You'll have to disclose everything no matter what.

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  14. Hi,

    I was charged with criminal sales in 1993
    I done a two year sentance in upstate Ny,
    since then, I maintained employment with the countrys
    giant telecom companys, last year in 2009 I was
    convicted of contempt of court a misdemeaner
    in the 7th degree, my question is can I get to sell securitys
    I was told by the company that I had to start with
    a U-4 app, then the series 6 then series 63 then a life insurance
    exame, please any answers will be greatly
    appreciated.

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  15. Thanks. So, it was a felony conviction for distribution/sales? That's a major red flag because it's both a felony and an illegal money-making scheme. Contempt of court is a red flag--why would the applicant cooperate with FINRA if the threat of fines and imprisonment didn't get him to cooperate with the legal system? But, since it's a misdemeanor, I don't see where you would have to disclose the contempt charge on U-4. I'm not a lawyer, just a test-prep guy, but I do my homework as well as possible. The firm is right--on U-4 you'll have to answer "yes" on being charged with a felony and with being convicted (apparently) of a felony. And the 6 and 63 would allow you to sell investment company products including variable annuities and variable life. Assuming FINRA accepts your registration. Good luck.

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  16. PLEASE HELP!!!

    I'm in California and Received a Felony for possession of a vicodon (Hydrocodene). A Felony for having ONE Pill in my pocket! I have a clientele of over 170 clients. The Felony comes off my record after completing prop 36/rehab classes in a month' or will be moved to being dismissed. I understand I have to report been arrested, ect.. To Finra & California Life Ins. Dept....

    After reading the above comments you're recommendation is I should hire a lawyer and petition FINRA and/or Insuranc Department?

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  17. Pull up a U-4 on the internet--www.finra.org or www.nasaa.org have them after several clicks. When you get to #14, you'll see that you'll have to disclose the felony charge and the felony conviction. Always. U-4 is for agents of broker-dealers and/or representatives of investment advisers. Or, if you're setting up an RIA, since it happened in the past 10 years, you'll have to disclose it on Form ADV as well. I don't know if you're registering with FINRA or not--if you're at the 65/66 blog, probably not. You're registering with a state regulator, right?

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  18. I'm registered with FINRA. I have series 7 and 63. I do plan on taking my 65. The Felony possession will be dismissed. I'm trying to figure out if once is dismissed I'm going to have to file as Statutory Disqualified? I'm wondering if FINRA will give me any relief. I'm assuming they will let me work but do not want to have to find new firm being statutory disqualified. I spoke with lawyer he said it is very possible FINRA will give me relief' having not having to file as Stat Disqualified but I have not found any example of this on the internet. I've spent hours upon hours looking. I am speaking with somebody in SD dept. (FINRA Lawyer) I'm hoping this Monday, she still hasn't called me back.

    This is unbelievable this has happened to me. I have to believe there is some FINRA relief as I've lost a developing practice built it last 3 years, was terminated from firm, and now just want to work and rebuild. I accept full responsibility for my actions and have taking the right steps but do not believe I should be banned from industry for 10 years bc of a VIcotien pill. ANY HELP FROM ANYBODY WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

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  19. Definitely frustrating. You're talking to the right people, though--you spoke with a lawyer, and you're hoping to speak to a regulator next week. That's where you want to get your information at this point. You don't want to solicit dozens of opinions from internet users telling you what they heard or what happened to their cousin joey--you want somebody related to your particular case to tell you what's what. If a B/D wants to hire you, I think they'll overlook felony possession. They might not overlook theft, identity theft, fraud, or previous disciplinary actions like churning or unauthorized transactions. You're probably looking for certainty, but lawyers don't deal with certainty--they deal with possible outcomes only. You might get relief, you might not. If you don't, it might affect your career, it might not. Salesmen generally don't like the wishy-washy ways of attorneys and regulators--who are usually attorneys as well. But it is what it is--you won't know the outcome until you do.

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  20. Spoke with FINRA, and although felony for possession of a Vicoden is going to be dismissed and expunged. I will still be statatorily disqualified because am guilty of a felony within last 10 years...

    So moving forward, I will be speaking to probably a 100 different firms convincing them why they should hire me. I built a 200 client practice the last 3 years and did like 70K GDC last year with a salary.

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  21. America's drug prohibition policies claim another victim. How could possession be a felony without intent to distribute? Your criminal defense attorney couldn't get that charge down to a misdemeanor? What the heck did he or she do for the money you paid them?

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  22. You wouldn't believe how much I paid her for no results. I was thrown in as a number. The drug prohibition or criminal code is exactly what it is a code set in stone. A vicodin is (Hydrocodene) which is a Felony in the same class as cocaine & heroin.

    The upside of this is I will be starting my own practice IA Firm but cannot do it till July when get all this dismissed...

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  23. I was wondering if you could help me here. I was convicted of Felony possession with intent in 1996 as well as an assault felony at the same time. I am looking to get my Series 7 and 63 Licenses and want to make sure I am qualified to do so as I believe there is a 10 year mandatory disqualification for licensing that has long passed. Thanks.

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  24. You'll have to disclose the convictions on Form U-4 no matter how long ago they occurred. Generally, FINRA only uses the bad stuff that happened in the previous 10 years against you. Be prepared to explain the situation on "DRPs" or "disclosure reporting pages."

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  25. Hello I currently work for a large financial institution and about to test for series 7 and 66. I am currently on deffered ajudication probation for a felony charge of a controlled substance in 2005. I havent been convicted of the felony as it is deffered, but will this prevent me from obtaining my licensing? Thanks so much for you help!

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  26. It's never an automatic thing we're we can say if you did this, FINRA will automatically decide that. If you don't have a felony conviction, you still have been charged with a felony, so you'll have to answer "yes" to that question. And provide a DRP "disclosure reporting page" telling the whole story to FINRA. I don't think it's accurate to assume you have no chance . . . unless you conceal the charge on U-4 and they find out (which they always do). In that case--game over.

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  27. Similar to the deferred adjudication question,in 2003 I plead guilty to a Youthful Offender Offense in the state of Alabama for an arrest that occurred in 2002 which involved me being in possession of a controlled substance. I was 19 at the time and was told I never had to answer "yes" to the question "have you ever been convicted of a felony," as the offense is sealed on my juvenile record. However, on the U-4 form do I need to answer "yes" to the question "have you ever been charged with a felony?" If so will this prevent me from obtaining my Series 7 and 63.

    Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.

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  28. You might want to consult with an attorney here, but when U4 asks if you have pled guilty to a felony, what's the truthful answer . . . ?
    Yes, correct?
    Unfortunately, it's part of the same question asking about a conviction or "nolo contendere."

    And, ALSO, you were charged with a felony.
    Looks like two "yes" answers to me, and then the DRPs explaining what happened.

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  29. This might be a similar question to the ones above. Three years ago I was charged with a felony for a possession of a controlled substance. I entered a deferred entry of judgment program which I have completed now the charge was dismissed and the case has been sealed. I applied for a CAlife insurance while I was in the program before it was dismissed and I disclosed it and my license was granted. I now currently work for a large financial institution and my charge has been dismissed since a year ago. How would I answer those conviction and charged with questions? Since I want to pursue my series 7 and 66 licenses?

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  30. I know of no exception to this advice: answer the questions on U4 honestly. You'll notice there is nothing indicating that "dismissed cases and sealed cases need not be disclosed"? You were charged with a felony. And, it looks as if you pled no contest or guilty?

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  31. Mr. Walker,
    Similar to the last question. I was charged with a felony possession of cocaine (very small amount but nonetheless a felony charge). I pled no contest and completed 90 days of treatment and the deferred court program. Now the charged has been "dropped" or in other words I am not a convicted felon. When I was charged I was a registered rep (7&63) with a large B/D. After I completed my treatment I decided to establish my own LLC with several other partners and we now operate independent of each other. When we moved, earlier this year, I decided not to register with a new B/D because most of my income comes from insurance sales and I did not want my clients to be able to know every mistake I have made through broker check... My question is if I decided to seek being a RR again what would my chances be for keeping my lincenses? All of this has happened in 2010 and I would not need to retake the tests. But if they are just going to shoot me down then I would rather just not be registered. Any suggestions? I know honesty is the best policy and I think I have a good case for someone that made some mistakes but is on the right track plus I am still young. Thanks for you help!

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  32. If you have a successful practice going now, I would spend a few hundred dollars for a good attorney's counsel on this matter. What I can see (as a guy who merely helps people pass license exams), is this: although the felony no contest plea is very recent, it also had nothing to do with dishonesty. Had you been selling drugs, that would be much worse. Your story--which you'll have to tell the regulators--looks pretty good. What's the downside here? If you apply for registration, the worst that could happen is that it is denied by FINRA and/or your state regulator. Few customers even know there IS a state securities regulator, and how many insurance customers are so diligent that they go to brokercheck? If you can make a living selling only insurance products, I'm not sure you're taking a huge risk by applying as a securities agent and/or investment adviser representative. And, I think your chances of getting licensed are pretty good. If you had customer complaints, arbitration awards, theft or fraud charges . . . different story. It's a guessing game, but I'd recommend seeing if somebody who has experience in this area can give you a more thorough analysis.

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  33. I have a felony drug conviction from 2004. I'm back in school now going for a finance degree. Ultimately, I would like to end up being hired by a firm and taking the series 7 once the 10 years since the conviction has passed. I noticed something in your original post about taking the Series 65 exam, then register your own LLC as an investment adviser through Form ADV. Is this something that is possible to do with a felony conviction less than 10 years old, or just something to fall back on if I'm still denied when going for my series 7? Thank you for your help!

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  34. It's not a 100% certainty that you could not get registered even before 10 years has passed. But, you'll have to disclose the conviction no matter when you register as a securities agent--even after 20 or 30 years. The advantage to the ADV angle is that it only asks about the stuff that happened in the previous 10 years. So, that angle becomes attractive only after 10 years have gone by. Does that make sense?

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  35. That does make sense, thank you. Would you suggest taking any certain steps to help my chances of being able to get registered, such as character references from people in the industry? Also, are my chances much greater after 10 years, or even likely? Thank you for the advice, its greately appreciated!

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  36. your chances are definitely better after 10 years, but that's not the same thing as saying, "You should wait 10 years." I don't actually know if FINRA or the state regulators look at character references.

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  37. I was convicted of a felony possession of marijuana 32 years ago at age 17 or 18. So long ago I can hardly remember. It happened in Florida which is why at the time the penalty was so severe. I live in Michigan and my conduct as a responsible person has been a lifelong commitment. I recently completed my MBA and am seriously looking into a career change that will include me getting my P&C, Life and Health and Series 7 and 63 licenses. I do not even have a speeding ticket on my record over the past 32 years, was allowed my civil rights back immediately upon serving 21 days in jail and have even held public offices in my community. I have been told in the past by State licensing personnel that because it is so long ago that I do not need to disclose the felony because it is academic to their decision. Previously I held my P&C and Life and Health Licenses in my state. I have also been told anything that occurred more than 10 years ago does not need to be disclosed. I cannot get my records sealed or the conviction expunged because my so called attorney was less than competent and I was adjudicated guilty. I want to make sure I do not waste my time and the company's time in this matter if I will ultimately be denied. Up to this point the question of my felony has not come up in their background searching that includes financial records, MVR etc. It will only show up if there is an FBI fingerprint investigation. I know this because I did one on myself just to see what my record says. You truly seem to have a knowledgeable perspective on this issue and would appreciate you input.

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  38. I would say that if FINRA denies your application, there is no hope for anyone with a blemish on his record. You will have to disclose it on Form U-4 . . . charged with a felony, convicted of a felony. You'll tell your story in detail, FINRA will make you wait longer than necessary, probably request a bunch of documentation, and, eventually, grant you a license. Same for the state securities regulator.

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  39. Thank you for your Dec. 2nd response. It was very helpful!

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  40. Mr. Walker,

    7 months ago I was cited and charged for using a fake ID to enter a bar. The charge was subsequently dismissed. I have since graduated college. If I wanted to go into Investment Banking, I assume I would have to get a series 7 license-and fill out a U-4 form. Would this be considered a reportable misdemeanor? If so, would I have any trouble becoming licensed? And on top of that, would it even be worth it going into the industry if the information would be public record on Broker Check? Thank you.

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  41. oops. On one hand, this seems like a kids-will-be-kids thing. On the other hand, it represents fraud/identity theft. I'm pretty sure you will have to disclose it on U-4, but I don't think I'd avoid the industry just because it could show up in broker check. Not even sure it would go into broker check if you never got registered. If you know people in the business, ask them what they think. Chances are, they know folks who got registered with much bigger blemishes on their record.

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  42. I live in Canada and have a Series 6. I have not disclosed to my employer that I have been convicted of a misdemeanor (non securities related). I'm scared to tell them because I fear I may lose my job. My 2 year anniversary is coming up and I'm wondering if I should renew it by doing the test and still not disclosing it or letting my series 6 expire - I'm afraid that if I let it expire they will do a background check to fill out my U5.
    Can you please advise if employers do a background check on my U5 upon me leaving/letting this expire? Is the best course of action to simply renew this and not tell them?

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  43. If it's a misdemeanor and not related to securities, it doesn't have to be disclosed on Form U4. Does your firm give you an annual questionnaire asking if you've been convicted of any misdemeanors, period? If not, why do you have to disclose it to them?

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  44. My employer does give me an annual questionnaire but I don't recall if it asks me anything pertaining to this...
    My question though is: Should I renew my Series 6 (which I don't necessarily need for my job), or should I let it expire...

    I fear that if I let it expire: They will do a background check to fulfill the completion of the U5.

    I also fear that if I renew this: They may do some sort of a police check.

    Can you please advise the best course of action because I don't want to risk losing my job.

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  45. For specific advice like that you'd need to speak with an attorney with much experience in this area. I know these concepts to the extent that they're tested and a little beyond that. Not to the extent where I can advise on a tactical decision like this. It's worth paying for a few hours of good "lawyering," I think based on what's at stake.

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  46. Just to provide an update that I hope helps everyone that views this page. I'm the same individual that posted a question on Oct. 26, 2010. I am the individual who was charged with a felony and then found guilty of a youthful offender offense in Alabama. Well...after the firm that employs me consulted outside council I was advised as to how I should fill out my U-4. To the question: "Have you ever been charged with a felony?" I did have to answer "YES" and give an explanation as to the charge. However, because I was convicted of a youthful offender offense (which is not a felony) I answered "NO" to the question: "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?"

    This was a situation my firm had never before dealt with, but things worked out for the best.

    My U-4 WAS APPROVED. I took my Series 7 test today and scored an 87.

    I hope this helps someone with a similar situation!

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  47. Congratulations, my fellow Alabamian (I have a house in Montgomery). Great score on the 87.
    Glad to see that what I would have said is on the same page with the attorney. You were charged, but not convicted of a felony. And you've just shown that FINRA takes everything on a case-by-case basis; nothing is automatic.

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  48. Hi Mr Walker, i appreciate all the answers you have provided and hope you can answer a question for me. I was "charged" with theft of property because of a deal gone wrong that ended up putting me at the root of the blame even though i did no such thing, however i was charged and was sentenced to a 4 year probation deferment judication. I am hoping to get into this industry by starting out getting my series 65 license to act as a investment advisor. Would it be possible to obtain my license for my series 65 even though i am on probation that will be deferred after 4 years.?? I am in the State of TX

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  49. Hello. The regulators take everything on a case-by-case basis. Theft of property is definitely a red flag, but you also tell your side of the story. You're going to register your firm with a Form ADV through the IARD system, correct? Sounds like you were charged and convicted of theft-of-property. Was this a misdemeanor or felony charge?

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  50. It was a felony charge and the way it ended is that i was neither convicted nor was the case thrown out. Again i am on probation for 4 years in which after the 4 years it will be deferred and will be off my record. I can claim that i have NOT been convicted of a felony only charged with one. And regards to registering my firm i am not quite sure of the best way to register as i am just breaking into the industry and reading as much as i can on how to do it properly.. Any advice/insight would help. Thanks

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  51. After talking to some lawyers, I think I can conclude that FINRA asks the two questions as a pair so that even if someone has a conviction expunged or sealed, he would still have to say YES he was CHARGED with a felony or a particular misdemeanor. I don't recommend winging it when setting up an RIA. See www.riaregistrar.com. There are others, but I've met the principals at RIA Registrar. They're knowledgeable and charge a reasonable fee.

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  52. In your case, the form goes to the State Securities Administrator rather than FINRA. FINRA accepts the U4 for stockbroker agents and IARs. Form ADV is filed with the State Securities Administrator, or the SEC for big firms. But, the questions are phrased similiarly . . . with one big exception. On ADV, they only ask about the previous 10 years.

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  53. and don't let it confuse you that although FINRA administers the IARD system, advisers and IARs still do not 'register with' FINRA.
    Seriously.

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  54. Thanks for all your help, i guess what your saying that it is a possibility that i can get my license but it would be a case by base kind of thing for the state to decide right?

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  55. Exactly. If you can afford legal counsel, that tends to increase your chances.

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  56. having the legal counsel increases your chances. Not the fact that you can afford it.

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  57. Last question regarding my situation, would it be best to contact the State Securities Administration prior to paying for all the study material and etc to see if i would be able to get my license or is that possible?

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  58. ask as many questions as you like--that's the purpose of the blog. ;)
    I would try calling the state securities administrator (they'll have a different name than that). See what they'll tell you--probably not much. But it's a good idea to see if you can get some information or even some indication of how they view the situation. Please let me know what you find out--if anything.

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  59. hi, i have been reading the thread and have a question of my own! i was convicted of sch. II distribution drug charge 4 years ago (first offense). Kind of a fluke case as i took the fall for someone and it was clear. Served no jail time and did my 2 year unsupervised probation sentence with no infractions. Was able to get my real estate broker license here in New York but am breaking into finance now and going to need a series 7 and 63.. is this possible?

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  60. That was a felony conviction, right? Worse, it represents an illegal money-making scheme, making it highly relevant to most regulators. Not to mention that ANY felony can keep you out of the biz for 10 years. No one can predict what will happen, but if you want in the business, I can't see why you wouldn't try.

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  61. Hi Mr Walker I have been an insurance agent for 27 years and starting the process to take my 65 in Missouri. I had a drug felony charge over 20 years ago which I will disclose but I have also had some credit issues. I refused to file bankruptcy but I did settle with a coupls creidt card companies for a lower pay off and I have several still out there but haven't paid on them for over 2 years. No law suits but bad credit score. WIll the credit issues cause me to not be able to aquire a 65 license?

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  62. you'll have to disclose the financial stuff, but that typically doesn't lead to statutory disqualification. The felony was well over 10 years ago--you'll tell your story, but that, also, should not keep you out of the business.

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  63. Hi Mr. Walker,

    I'm currently studying for my Series 6 exam and waiting for a test window to be opened. However my employer notified me recently that there were 3 charges that showed up during my background check. The charges were made when I was Juvenile and I was convicted as a Juvenile. There charges were 1. burglary, 2. conspiracy to commit theft, 3. embezzlement. I know for a fact I was not convicted for burglary, I was convicted with only ONE misdemeanor, and sadly I don't remember what the conviction was because I was a minor. Thus, I'm working on getting my disposition paperwork.

    Will this hinder me in getting my license?

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  64. Pretty sure you'll have to explain each of the charges as well as the conviction. Can you request your records from the juvenile justice system? I think you'll need dates and details. All of these charges are investment-related, so I think it could hold things up a while. How long ago was the last charge/conviction?

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  65. Hello Mr. Walker,

    I am a CFP and an Investment Adviser Representative with an RIA firm. I have not held active securities licenses since 2006, when I left a broker/dealer firm. When I was 19 years old (17 years ago), I was charged with a felony marijuana charge. The charge was dropped and my record reflects no convictions of felonies or misdemeanors. Nevertheless, I had to report this on my U-4, in response to the "Have you ever been charged with a felony" question. My FINRA Brokercheck records disappeared in 2008, two years after my licenses became inactive. In late 2010, the records reappeared on the FINRA website, much to my dismay. It is my understanding that there was a law change that keeps them active for 10 years now.

    My question is this:

    My firm is completing the new free-form SEC Form ADV Part I and II. Our attorneys have come up with a statement that reads: This advisor has no reportable disciplinary information. This concerns me. I have no SEC-reportable disciplinary information, as the SEC requires that you disclose anything that's happened in the last 10 years, but my FINRA records are now dumping into the SEC Investment Adviser Representative Reporting system and the charges are fully disclosed, as well as on the FINRA Brokercheck website. Why are they showing on the SEC website, and is there anything I can do to remove them? Also, what is the process for expunging them from FINRA? I would ask my firm's attorneys these questions, but I'd rather not rehash this with my firm's partners. Thanks for any assistance. You're doing a real service here.

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  66. Doesn't seem to be anything you can do. First, the attorneys are obviously correct--the Adviser has no reportable disciplinary information. But, the SEC's website at http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/(S(dww4kf45wvuvlv55a5zxgfnz))/IAPD/Content/IAPDMain/iapd_SiteMap.aspx tells us that IARs are searchable, with the information "collected from individual investment adviser representatives, investment adviser firm(s), and/or securities regulator(s) as part of the securities industry's registration and licensing process." I think that's the answer--since FINRA has that information, they're reporting it to this part of the IARD system that lets the public search on IARs. I don't think you "expunge" anything from FINRA. Even if a conviction in a court of law is expunged, FINRA will find out t it abouwhen they ask if you were ever CHARGED with the crime. They're very cagey these regulators.

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  67. Plus, in many people's eyes . . . it's just a MARIJUANA charge. Big deal!? It's not shoplifting, or armed robbery, or forgery, or perjury.

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  68. so, yes, people can see it but, no, it won't drive everyone away as if you're radioactive.

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  69. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your insight.

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  70. hello, i have been charged with armed robbery in the 1st and theft in the third on two separate occassions with both being dismissed(one a felony and other misdemeanor). is there a possibility of being approved by finra and getting a job? thanks!

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  71. so, no felony convictions? and no misdemeanor convictions for theft/shoplifting/fraud, etc.? If none, you probably have a pretty good chance of getting licensed. But I would expect FINRA and your state regulator to sweat you big-time, and many firms would be unlikely to make an offer of unemployment. Tip: ask your question at registeredrep.com, too . . . the responders are usually in the business and if you get 10 current registered reps telling you the same thing, that can be useful. Unless they're all misinformed.

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  72. I was charged with a felony but recieved an Adjudication with held, (non conviction) in florida. will this preclude me from becoming and RIA taking my 65 and charging a fee for managment?

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  73. you'll have to disclose the charge if it happened in the preceding 10 years. But if there's no conviction, there's no reason to assume you can't get registered. How long ago was the charge?

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  74. by "preceding 10 years," I mean on Form ADV . . . you said you want to be an RIA. If you wanted to be an IAR, you'd use Form U4 and would have to disclose that charge forever.

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  75. I was charged with two counts of felonY theft 3rd degree, on one charge I was placed in a pretrial intervention program and the other plead no contest and adjudication was witheld. I have had mY record sealed, although after reading this form I see that it doesn't matter if it includes a FBI background check. Both of the charges are 10 Years old, I am a current holder of a P&C license and a life, health and variable annuities license. I have submitted the U4 form and provided FINRA with dates of the occurrences and legal discourse as well as case numbers and out comes. However I didn't provide supporting docuementation. I do have letters stating that the charge on one case was dismissed and on the other that I completed probation and witheld adjudication. What are m chances of being approved I am trYing to get hired as a Prop Trader for a large firm. AnY thoughts would be greatlY appreciated. SorrY for the capitol Y the lower case just quit working.

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  76. it was 4 maybe 5 years ago. Also, once I do the 65 and start the RIA process do I need any other license to charge wrap fee for advisory services?
    I was previously a registered rep and disclosed that charge back then. the state said not need to disclose the disposition until i attempte to reregister. I have since termed out and think the RIA would be the best avenue in past I did all wrap fee anyhow so why go back to a wirehouse. I am not concerned about disclosing I am more concerned about being denied for some reason. though it ws a no contest adjudication withheld(which I am told is better than guilty with adjudication witheld) Also, it was not financial or fraud related charge.
    Is it possible to speak with you by telephone for a consult?

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  77. I don't do telephone consulting--this is really just a blog for people taking their Series 65/66 exams. We touched on an interesting point, obviously--more interesting than anything on those tests, anyway. No one can predict what the regulators will do. As long as the registrant/applicant cooperates with requests for documents and written responses, there's a chance of getting registered. As far as I know an investment adviser sponsors wrap fee programs; the broker-dealers used as custodians are independent of the RIA.

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  78. ok so just to clarify the 65 issue. to conduct business I need the 65 and register as an RIA. then I would presumably have potential clients custodian with a scwab/ scottrade(example) then have a client contract of which I charge a percentage for advising? no other license?

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  79. you describe it correctly--the RIA would get discretion to enter transactions. The client's account would be custodied at Schwab, TD Ameritrade, etc. They would send account statements. You would send billing statements.

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  80. that's what a portfolio manager does. Or, the adviser can charge for financial planning work--usually an hourly rate; sometimes a flat fee. In either case, the compensation is based on the advice--not selling securities for a commission.

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  81. I have just been hired by a broker-dealer and need to take the Series 7. I have takenthe 63 on my own via the U-10 form. Now for my question, I have disclosed to my employer that I received a state felony charge of evading arrest in 2007 but that I received deferred adjudication and that my probation period was completed successfully in the beginning of 2011. They have now contacted FINRA to see if I will be able to be licensed. Have you ever heard of FINRA not issuing a license due to a crime that does not involve moral turptitude (forgery, embezzlement, theft, etc..)?

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  82. I have no specific rulings to cite, but I would assume FINRA has done so. Evading arrest doesn't seem like a case where they'd do so. Driving on a revoked license would probably be worse--I mean, if the cops are chasing, I would also run, myself. Of course, I'm from chicago, so . . .

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  83. Do I have to disclose dismissed home-invasion felony charge that occurred in 2003? I was charged, however not convicted because there was no evidence and the case was thrown out of court in Utah, hence dismissed. I was an innocent youth at the wrong place at the wrong time. I do not want to consider placing those charges on form U-4 because I was literally walking down the street and taken to custody because I somehow fit someones "description," and no I am not black btw.

    I now live in New York and I am entertaining the idea of entering the field as a stock broker trainee. I do have other misdemeanors of not paying parking tickets on time and one domestic violence charge of beating up my little brother in public when I was 18 also. Lots of stupid stuff. Many youthful indiscretions. But none no "moral turpitude" convictions. I may have a possible warrant in another state for a misdemeanor ( Nevada ) but I only went there for vegas etc etc.

    Bottom Line: Can I obtain a series 7 etc etc?

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  84. No one can predict what will/would happen. One thing seems clear--you have a LOT of disclosure to do. Yes, you'll have to disclose the felony charge, and it will probably lead to a lot of back-and-forth with FINRA and/or the state regulators. The misdemeanors won't be disclosed, but the regulators will likely find out about them. And there is going to be a very full sheet of incidents. You could run into real problems here. I think you need an attorney to help you get an edge.

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  85. I was charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession with Intent to distribute and paraphernalia. I was granted pti(pretrial intervention) and my charges will be dismissed upon completion of the program. Will this be a serious problem in attaining a series 7 and 63 licence?

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  86. I just answered this on the passthe7.blogspot.com . . . you'll have to report the felony charge and conviction for now . . . and even if the charges are dismissed, you'll have to answer "yes," that you were charged with a felony. FINRA and the state regulators will find out about all this stuff. I think you can still get licensed, but I'm confident the regulators will sweat you for a while first.

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  87. Well, 20 years ago traded commodities for a while. One client filed a claim on a single trade and it went to arbitration.(turns out he filed with every firm when he lost a bit on a losing trade. My branch manager let it slide ( I wanted to fight it). Anyway firm got in trouble at corporate level and folded, I went to another start up but resources were lacking so I left the business. Shortly thereafter arbitrator notifies me that client awarded $2300. I think the old firm settled as I never heard anything again. Now want to get my series 65 and apply as an RIA . Question is the CFTC has no mention of my arbitration then I saw the NFA did. Since over 20 years and no regulatory sanction, do I still have to mention the incident and would it preclude me from getting registered and working with B/D's? Any insight appreciated. Thank You

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  88. There is a difference among the Form ADV that an advisory firm uses and the U4 used to register the IAR (or securities agent at a BD). ADV doesn't seem to ask about your situation. If you were filling out a U4, you would have to disclose ANY arbitration award EVER involved with "sales practice violations."

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  89. If I had a misdemeanor forgery from 20 years ago that was dismissed pursuant to PC 1203.4 expungement process, would I be able to be licensed? The state of CA DOJ has no records of it, only the FBI Rap Sheet and it takes my fingerprints to obtain the records.

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  90. on Form U4, a candidate is supposed to answer truthfully; the truthful answer is YES, you were charged and YES you were convicted of an investment-related misdemeanor. If you want to answer the question based on legal strategy, you'll need to consult an attorney with experience in this specific area. I'd say this, either way: chances are you would get licensed even after disclosing the misdemeanor from 20 years ago. On the other hand, if they find out you lied on Form U4, game-over.

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  91. Hello there. My first time posting here and can use your help!

    My father is looking to start a financial advisory and then eventually turn it into a hedge fund type of operation. Him and his partner will be taking the series 65 soon, they want to do commodities trading. He would like me to be involved, in some sort of sales capacity.

    Unfortunately, i got convicted of a felony at age 18, for being a part of a theft of computers from a school. Completed all the probation requirements and have never had any other criminal or misdemeanor issues.

    Im 27 now, have a solid university education and have worked in sales jobs for 3 large corporations with great references across the board.

    Im not too familiar with trading and the steps involved in getting licensed, so my questions are:

    Can i register to take the series 65 (or similar) exam?

    If yes, can i get licensed in the state of IL? or what is the procedure?

    Since this will be my fathers firm and ill obviously be hired, what other agencies/regulatory bodies do i need to report my information (criminal history) to, to be able to do this line of work.

    Is there a restriction on a position handling money directly vs, just a sales role in an advisory/hedge fund?

    Thanks you!

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  92. Your firm will submit a U4 on your behalf, and you'll have to answer 'YES' you were convicted of a felony. The State of IL can use this as a reason to deny you a license; they'd give you a hearing first, though. They take it on a case-by-case basis. I think it could either way, and not sure I'd wait until the 10-year mark has passed to find out. I'd consult with an attorney--lots of good lawyers in Chicago.

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  93. Been all over FINRA site, I have found several examples of FINRA allowing brokers who have come CLEAN about their felonies and misdeameanors keep their licenses. Any attempts to deceive are fatal.
    Now to me:
    1993-Petit larceny conviction
    2001-Felon drug possession (July 2001)
    2003-Misdeamenor drug possession
    I have an offer as I type from a firm,in several months I have to go for my series 7 and 66. I plan on getting an attorney, but I wanted your thoughts going in.thanks

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  94. the firm is going to have to really want to hire you and be a firm willing to make exceptions. Theft conviction plus a felony. Glad you're getting an attorney.

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  95. I have recently passed the series 7 and 63. Finra has yet to register me, because they are still figuring how to disclose certain charges in my past. I have given them ALL the documents the court has, but the paperwork lacks actual events that took place during the night of conviction that they need details about. I have contacted the California Highway Patrol to obtain a "police report" but they have purged the records from 2003. It is a matter of the circumstances behind a PC148 charge. (resisting, delaying, obstructing an officers duty) and since there is no information about HOW I was charged or why with the PC148 we are in a deadlock. I desperately need your help in becoming registered!

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  96. You're doing it right by providing as much documenation as humanly possible. Would be surprised if this proved to be more than a long, drawn-out hassle. You might want to consult with an attorney.

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  97. I know this question has been asked in several different ways, but I would like to get your thoughts on my specific situation. I have been cited for several different alcohol related misdemeanors since high school (public intoxication, underage possession of alcohol, possession of a fake ID). I am most concerned about the fake ID situation, however it was a low level misdemeanor charge not a felony. To further complicate my situation, I recently received and accepted a FA position at a large firm and when filling out the background screening information there was a question asking if I had been charged or convicted of a misdemeanor involving "forgery, fraud, perjury, theft, extortion, counterfeiting, check-kiting, etc".... well I answered NO and didn't think anything of it until I read this blog. So, my question is: how will all of this affect me? Thank you in advance for your help. This blog has been a great resource and if I am able to enter the industry I will definitely use your products to study.

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  98. that doesn't sound good. A fake ID seems to fit neatly under 'fraud,' and you used fraud in a financial transaction (buying booze). The other misdemeanors don't seem like a big deal or at all unusual. You should talk to an attorney, but my gut would tell ME to approach the firm before they call me into an office down a long hall conveniently located by the security guards and the exits.

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  99. Thanks, I just left a VM for the HR director. I will explain the situation to him.

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  100. Mr. Walker,

    Thank you for answering all of our questions. It means the world.

    In 2005 as a 19 year old I was charged with felony theft for stealing text books from my my campus library. For a plea of guilty the charge was brought down to a misdemeanor. I served no jail time and was forced to pay a $150 fine.

    Fast forward to 2011, I have recently finished my accounting degree and would like to go to work for a financial institution. I have been told by Edward Jones that even a misdemeanor theft conviction will completely ban you for ten years. Is this true? Do I have a chance at all? Do you recommend any specific company that will go to bat for me as far as sponsorship?

    Thank You!!

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  101. the way Edward Jones phrased their answer . . . I'd have to agree, especially with the PROBABLY part. I don't know which firms would go to bat for you; right now, I doubt many would go to bat for a new hire. I think your only shot is to find a good attorney with experience in this area.

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  102. Mr Walker, I applied for an internship with a brokerage firm and needed a FINRA background check. The brokerage firm contacted me and said that FINRA requested additional information after a misdemeanor marijuana possession came up on my record. I then faxed them the court documents they requested. This is my first offense and I made a plea to do 50 hours of comm. service and go to court for the final hearing in December. FINRA is currently investigating my case. Do you think I will be approved and able to intern at the brokerage firm?

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  103. The broker-dealer might have their own policy concerning whom they want to use as interns. A misdemeanor like this is not a cause for statutory disqualification by FINRA in and of itself.

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  104. Hello R Walker,

    Recently i was offered a financial advisory job at merrill lynch. Background checks are necessary to move forward with the job.

    I was convicted as a felony and guilty of theft in 2004. However since i have had no other cases and didnt violate my probation. My judge had granted my petition for (in 2008):

    1) Order for Release from Penalties and Dismissal (Under P.C. 1203.4)
    2) Order to Reduce Felony Conviction to a Midemeanor Pursuant to the Provisions of Penal Code Section 17

    Would I still be obligated to say that i have been convicted as a felon/misdemeanor, and since my case has been dismissed and reduced to a misdemeanor, are my chances good/bad in getting in.

    Thank you for your advice!

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  105. that's definitely some red flags there, and FINRA will find out what happened no matter how you answer the U4 . . . so the way you answer U4 will determine your chances. Whether it's a felony or a misdemeanor, theft convictions usually lead to statutory disqualification for 10 years. Here's the rub--if a conviction is expunged, you can accurately say NO when U4 asks about the conviction. But FINRA and the state regulators expect you to say YES, you were CHARGED . . . and then, they find out all about it. Full disclosure and a good attorney are what you need, sir.

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  106. Thank you for your time R Walker.

    Another quick question I have in regards to the above thread is:
    When FINRA/U-4 does the criminal background check would they see my case as a felony, or as a misdemeanor (since the felony was reduced as a misdemeanor and dismissed). I am asking this because one of the questions in the disclaimer is what type of offense is the case; a felony or misdemeanor.

    Thanks again for all your time and advice.

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  107. not sure it matters--they look at the facts surrounding the case, period. It's any felony but only misdemeanors that serve as red flags for anyone about to get bank routing and social security numbers from thousands of clients: fraud, forgery, perjury, burglary, possession of stolen property, shoplifting, etc.

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  108. Greetings Mr. Walker,
    I need your advice before I make a decision that could end up very bad. I will start with my background. In 2005 I had a class 4 felony for transportation of marijuana with intent to distribute. Since then I have serve my sentence and obtained an expungement from the state. During my rehabilitation period I earned my BS in Finance and I am 15 months away from my MBA in accounting. I applied for my fingerprint clearance card from the state of Arizona and I was granted a level one clearance. I have done this while raising my family. I want to be in financial services and there is an opportunity for me to be hired by a large firm. However, I am concerned about my U-4 because I am required to earn my series 7 and 66. If I decide to pursue this opportunity I will have to quit my current job and take a chance that the FINRA will accept me. I want to pursue my passion but I must think of my family first. Given my situation what are my odds of being accepted by the FINRA? Thank you for your time.

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  109. hi--if you're concerned about your family, I'm not sure you'd want to take the chance. It was a felony; it represented an illegal money-making scheme; it happened well within the previous 10 years. If you were a single guy with no dependents, I'd probably answer differently. For the final word, though, you'd have to talk to an attorney with experience in this matter. If he tells you expunged = no disclosure, fire him immediately.

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  110. I was fully licensed from 1986-2004, in 2001 I left the industry. In 2002 I arrested for possesion of a controled substance (less than a gram) which resulted in deffered adjudication once I successfuly completed 3 years of probation. I was asked to join a firm and just passed my 62 and 63. Now the firm has come back today and started to ask questions around my case> they asked me to get all the paperwork about my case and bring it to them, they said FINRA was requesting it. Yet by completing the probabtion it resulted in neither guilty or innocent. The county clerks office said I could get it expunged and gave me the paperwork to do this. Is this my hiring firms judgement call or is it FINRA that makes the decision?

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  111. Hi Mr. Walker,

    I work for an RIA firm and was asked to take the S65. This obviously means completing a U4.

    I was charged with a felony in 2009 of Theft by Deception, under $10,000, but over $500.00. My offense was amended to Attempted Theft by Deception, under $10,000, but over $500.00. Thereby making the offense I plead guilty to a class A misdemeanor. Full restitution was made.

    Will FINRA make an exception for me, or am I wasting my time studying for the exam?

    Thank you for your time.

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  112. You'll be applying with your state regulator. Whether a misdemeanor or a felony, this is a major red flag, and definitely grounds for an official denial. "Theft by Deception." Nothing could be of more interest to a regulator. FINRA is not involved here; it's your state. Do you know any attorneys with experience in this very narrow niche?

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  113. Thank you for the reply. I don't know of any attorneys with a specialty or experience in this area. When I submit the U4, will it immediately be rejected?

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  114. I am getting ready to plead guilty after a year of proffer sessions with the U.S Attorney's Office to some tax related felonies (to be exact I will be pleading in about 8 months since I made a deal with the prosecutor). I just passed my series 65 and have already filed my SEC Form D (Reg D Filing) in order to begin operations as a hedge fund manager. Being that the SEC is planning a bad actor provision for Reg D Filings I know for a fact that I will be fine in that aspect because tax related felonies do not prevent an issuer from conducting a Reg D offering (so this part is covered). But with regards to my registration as an investment adviser (state covered adviser since I will have less than 150-Million AUM), I am wondering since I will be sending my ADV 1&2 forms this week as a non felon, but in 8 months will be updating my ADV 1&2 form disclosures to state that I am a felon do you personally think that they will bar me at that future time? The reason I ask this is because this blog seems pretty non biased and accurate, and also because I have spoken to my attorney and he has said it is fine and other boy-scout types of attorneys have told me to get out of the industry. So after doing some research myself I found that my state securities commissioner or the SEC has right to revoke my license if they view that it is in the public's best interest, but since my felony conviction resulted from tax fraud how can this be a reason to keep me from the industry.

    PS: Prior to passing the 65 and registering as an RIA I was registered representative (6 & 63 registered through FINRA) for 3 years with no regulatory issues whatsoever. I have been unregistered as a rep for the past 3 years.

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  115. unfortunately, when it comes to felonies, the regulators don't get specific about which felonies were committed--they only do that when it's a misdemeanor. No one can say for sure what your particular state regulator will do--did your attorney check to see if your state has ever denied or revoked a license due to this?

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    Replies
    1. Just spoke with my state securities department (one of the supervisors), and they said that my ADV Forms 1 & 2 will be accepted and approved so long as I include a disclosure that I am subject to what they would call a regulatory investigation (IRS). They said that as soon as I am convicted I need to update my ADV Form disclosure and at that point my state will begin the process to revoke my registration for which at that point I can request a hearing with my states securities commissioner and attempt to show good cause as to why I should remain in the business. They said that since I at that point will have a tax related offense which in no way is securities related I have a good chance of keeping the license. Also they said that since I used to be a registered rep and never had any issues during that time I should have that additionally to stand on when I go to my hearing.

      Delete
  116. THANKS! This is the perfect real-world example of how the process works. People write in wanting to know for SURE what will happen . . . your state is telling you that even THEY don't know what will happen, and they're the ones who will make the call. If I were betting, I'd bet it will go exactly as they told you. Bring an attorney, provide all documentation, be patient . . . you should be good to go after the rough patch. Of course, once they revoke the license, that info will hang on their website . . . then again, how many folks know about that department, that website? very few.

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  117. this state sounds very level-headed relative to, say, Massachusetts. if you don't mind, which state is it?

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  118. I made a mistake while writing a research report, my company fired me and wrote on my U5, judgement error in internal communication with publishing department. Will I ever get re-hired.

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  119. I don't know. Let's see if people respond to that--did you ask on registeredrep? Folks who've been in the business a while would know more about that.

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    Replies
    1. the thing is that when I look at the section which says " are there any events disclosed about this broker" , it says "NO".

      So i am not sure what should I do

      Delete
  120. I'm getting ready to fill out my U4 and will answer yes to a felony conviction. The felony is from 21 years ago when I was in college. The bad thing and embarrassing thing about it is the actual charge. I was in college and met a girl who told me she was 19 and we had sex. Come to find out she was one month from 16 and I was charged with child molesting. Because of the circumstances (she lied about her age, she fully consented and was sexually active already) it was dropped from a class C to a class D and I only had one year probation with no fees and I wasn't marked a sex offender. I since have had no issues legally of any kind. The only place this ever comes up is a fingerprint FBI check...which it will on the U4. I know I will have to include all the documents and explanation to FINRA. I had to do this for my real estate exam and I was granted my license. I am hoping I will have the same understanding here with my series 6. I know you can't say for sure...but what do you think the odds of me getting approved will be?

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    Replies
    1. the odds are pretty good, I'm thinking.

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  121. This is a great thread, thanks for all your help Mr. Walker

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  122. Hello I am 27 years old about to graduate with a Bachelors in Business and a Minor in Finance and it looks like I'm about to get hired by a major financial firm. I have a misdemeanor possession of PARAPHERNALIA charge in 2005 and a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge from December 2011. I received a probation before judgement for the recent possession of marijuana charge and my probation period is going to end in the beginning of June 2012. My questions are: does me being on probation going to prevent me from being licensed if I am going to need the series 7 and series 66? Also since this is probation before judgement it is not considered a conviction so would I have to disclose this to FINRA? Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  123. there is no automatic game-over here as far as FINRA is concerned--some broker-dealers might have a policy against hiring anyone with a conviction for anything. You have not, apparently, been convicted of any felony, or any misdemeanor asked about on the form. FINRA and your state will still find out and ask you for documentation. Cooperate fully. I'd be shocked if you didn't get hired and registered.

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  124. Can i take series 7 exam if I was charged with tampering with evidence? this felony charge was barred from prosecution and dismissed. I also was charged with felony poss. controlled substance which I'm currently on probation for.

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  125. You'll have to disclose both of these charges on your U4. The first one is more troubling than the second, by far. I wouldn't say it's a game-over.

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  126. Hello, Can you tell me what you think my chances are with FINRA with 3 charges of fraud on record - all charges were dropped so no convictions. It all happened 17 years ago.

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    Replies
    1. since there were no convictions, and since it was well over 17 years ago, there is almost nothing they can do to keep you out--unless you fail to cooperate or disclose information.

      Delete
  127. Hello, so I have been sponsored to take the series 6 & 63. I have a misdemeanor conviction on my record in Indiana for check deception (under $50) and am trying to acquire my licenses for Michigan. It has been 11.5 yrs ago and not even a traffic ticket since. I will be working for a major player in the industry and seem to have passed their FINRA background already.

    Question is...do I have anything to worry about when submitting my U-4 for clearance? Will I be ok?

    ReplyDelete
  128. Yes, unfortunately, you have something to worry about--the only misdemeanors the industry really cares about have to do with money and/or deception. Check deception. What you have going for you is the time frame (over 10 years) and the no-repeat-offenses. Disclose everything and answer truthfully.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Similar to some of the questions, but specific to my situation. I went through the hiring process at Edward Jones, filled out all the paperwork, took all of the interviews, etc. They wanted to hire me, but I have an expunged petty theft on my record from August 2004 while in high school. after many conversations with FINRA, Edward Jones hiring team, and my contact within Edward Jones, they thought it was best for me to wait until after the 10 years has passed. What they actually told me was this. Edward Jones is legally not allowed to use an expunged theft against me during the hiring process.. However, once they hire me and I pass the testing portion and try to obtain my license that finra would deny me my license and because of that I would get fired from Edward Jones. I found that to be odd. I am just over 2 years away from 10 years since the conviction. I would love to enter the industry now, but do you think that would happen? Have me be hired by Edward Jones and then forced to be fired from them after Finra sees my expunged theft? If I did do that and they tried to fire me, could I fight it with an attorney?

    ReplyDelete
  130. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Well . . . it's always exciting to get "hired" by a broker-dealer, but the one you mentioned isn't really "hiring" you, are they? Aren't they really just "giving you a big opportunity" and wishing you the best of luck? In other words, there are other broker-dealers. Would FINRA deny your license--don't forget your state securities regulator, too--? Maybe. But it's one conviction, in high school, and you disclosed it on U4? Talk to another firm. Not Goldman, but a firm who routinely hires folks with much worse marks on their record.

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  132. Hi my question is regarding one count domestic violence assault 2nd degree felony charge Nov 2011...along with a few related misdemeanor charges related to the alleged assault incident....in NYC....The case was never indicted was dismissed completely cpl 160.50 and SEALED IMMEDIATELY... Would like to pursue series 7 and 63 what are my chances with FINRA and licensing in New York State??? Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  133. The felony has to be disclosed on U4. The misdemeanors apparently will not be disclosed on U4, but FINRA will still find out. Does your broker-dealer know about this?

    ReplyDelete
  134. Hello Mr. Walker,
    I read over your answers carefully. I received a felony for marijuana with intent to distribute, with which I have a chance of it being changed to a misdemeanor, when the probationary period ends in 3 months (that was 2 years probation).

    I had started college at about the same time as the infraction. Yes, I was guilty. I have learned an important lesson that I wish other people would hear... and that is even if one thinks a law is stupid, it is so important to follow it, and work on voting to get it changed instead. I dont even jay walk or speed anymore. I believe with every ounce of my being that marijuana should be legal, and I've done economic reports in school that justify this theory. I don't understand how we can allow this to happen to each other, when we all look around and wink and nod that "it's just marijuana". Meanwhile, the doc has started prescribing me hundreds of narcotic painkillers each month instead. I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more. I pop them like tick tacks, while that other guy get in trouble for only having one in his pocket, thus putting his entire career in jeopardy? Strange don't you think?

    With that aside the real reason for posting is that I feel in love with the markets a few years back.It has really intrigued me my entire life. I have always been very good with numbers and patterns; like I can feel them as much as work them in head. I have passion for the markets. I have gotten to a point where after 3 years of trading every day at home... I can now trade the markets and make a decent income for myself while going to school (essentially paying off all my student loans).

    So, it was just today that I find out about this 10 year rule. Because I started college late(should not have waited obviously)....I will be 38 before I am able to even think about getting licensed. So, now my question is, because I am a junior and really grinding into which major I will choose, I must decide if it is worth it to keep going with this. What do you think?
    If i want to run my own hedge fund, meaning with my own money, do I need to be licensed? What else could I do? What if we vote marijuana to be legal in this next election in my state(looks like it might happen)?

    I dont know what to do but I am literally right at that pivotal place where I must decide. It is nearly too late to change majors. If i manage my own funds, then I dont need a license, right? And if I go ahead and get this degree in finance, then what could I do for the next 8 years? That is a very very long time.

    My situation provides an interesting prospective on education though. Because I am not really looking to be "hired" by the industry, my agenda seems a bit different. I am wanting to manage my own money, and not conform to an industry of managing other peoples money. And there seems to be a big difference in this mentality. Professors are sometimes a bit taken back at how forward I am in pushing for proof, and direct application to what they claim to teach as fact. Students are getting ready for the industry while I am literally trying to grab this knowledge with both ears and directly apply it to making money, today. I guess I am trying to look at the bright side of things....

    Most of this long post is probably just venting, but I wanted to be clear in how I am thinking about this, and get the opinion of someone who actually has access to knowledge of the industry. If I want to work in this industry, then what CAN I be doing in the next 8 years while I wait to get licensed? Thanks for your time and your help!

    ReplyDelete
  135. a felony CHARGE does not equal an automatic disqualification. A felony conviction would be a different matter. If your lawyer has you plea to a misdemeanor, that is not necessarily reportable on U4 . . . especially if it's just possession. Don't make a decision without talking to an attorney with experience in this area.

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  136. Hello.
    This blog is very insightful. Thank you for giving your valuable time to help others.
    I have just been hired at a firm in TX, contingent upon my background approval. I have a felony charge from 2005, "manufacturing/delivery of controlled substance" reduced to "possession of controlled substance". Deferred adjudication sentenced in 2006 and successfully discharged in 2008 with no conviction. My first day of employment will start Sept 10, that is when I'm sure they will hand out the U4 form. How long does it usually take for the decision to come back? And is the felony charge/deferred adjudication a statutory disqualification?
    Thank you for the advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. charges are not really subject to statutory disqualification--convictions may be. So, if you answer truthfully and provide documents, you should be okay. Check with a lawyer, but the misdemeanor is not "investment-related," while the original charge was--and, of course, was a felony. I really don't know how long it takes. I would imagine submitting a U4 and hearing something back within 2 weeks, but maybe others have different experiences?

      Delete
  137. Hello,

    I am considering taking the Series 6 & 63 exams to obtain my license. My question is I filed BK 3 years ago and was settled but it remains on my record for 10yrs. I also had to short sell my home which I felt was better than foreclosure. I know my credit is not great. I am on an installment payment plan with the IRS for back taxes owed. I am current on that and there is no lien. So I have had a history of credit issues. I have NO criminal background. Would I still be able to obtain my license(s)

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry, WHAT are you worried about again? ;) Bankruptcies are simply disclosed. Some states--IL included--can deny a license if somebody defaults on a student loan, but that's not what happened here. The things that keep an applicant out of the business are felonies, investment-related misdemeanors, and previous regulatory problems in ANY financial industry. On another note, the 6 and 63 is kind of limited and very old-school. Consider taking it to a higher level and take the 65. One exam, and you can register as an IAR within 2 years. I mean, you can register as soon as you get a job with an RIA; just do so within 2 years, or you'll be back at the testing center cursing under your breath.

      Delete
  138. Hi Mr Walker,

    i have ben following your blog for the past few weeks being that I just submitted my paperwork for an arrest and felony charge to my HR Department. The felony charge was dropped to a misdemeanor of a controlled substance. The final conviction was ATTEMPTED POSSESSION OF COCAINE.

    1. It seems unlikely that this will keep me from taking the 7 in FINRA's eyes?
    2. Being that the amount was under .5 Grams, do you see any trouble with the state?
    3. Its hard to believe that .5 grams of cocaine is a worse offense than a DUI or theft however, in your years of industry experience, is this considered a common occurrence as far as criminal disclosure goes? Or would the industry look at this as a definitive NO, stay out of the industry?

    thanks for the help,

    ReplyDelete
  139. Was that conviction a felony or a misdemeanor? If it's a misdemeanor, it isn't even disclosed on U4--though FINRA will still find out about it. If it's a felony, then you may have a problem. FINRA and your state regulator don't weigh crimes in terms of how "bad" or "serious" they are, really. They figure all felonies are felonies and pretty much game-overs. For misdemeanors, they look at the crimes that seem directly related to the financial services industry only: perjury, forgery, blackmail, counterfeiting, theft, fraud, robbery, extortion. Is extortion "worse" than a DUI? IDK, but the former directly relates to an agent who wants to have access to a book of rich clients--and he's an extortionist? Like virtually every main character on the Soprano's? On the other hand, a DUI--so what? Take a cab or ride the subway/El/commuter train. right? So, if it's a felony, yes, you were charged and convicted of a felony. If it's a misdemeanor conviction, the answers are yes--I was charged with a felony, no--not convicted of a felony, but then yes and yes again on the misdemeanor charge and conviction. Right? Half gram--thank God the "DA" didn't play hardball and try some "with intent to distribute" charge. THAT would be a problem--it's a "money crime" that way. I would say if it's a misdemeanor conviction, you'll likely get past FINRA and your state securities department. If it's a felony, I would not have any extra confidence, though I would not consider it a game-over, either. If a BD knows about it and hires you, that tends to mean they think they can get you past the regulatory hurdles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your insight, greatly appreciated. Just to clarify, I was only CHARGED with a felony then convicted of a misdemeanor. Looking at a U-4 template, it would appear that I would only have to disclose the felony charge however, NO NO for the misdemeanor section being that it is not related to the referenced items, right? I would then have to fill out the DRP section and include the misdemeanor but for Q 14 purposes, it would be Y,N,N,N.

      Yes you are absolutely right, if they tried to pull some intent to sell BS i would not be asking questions here!

      Also, assuming everything goes okay with my firm allowing me to take the 7, your books look very promising. I live near the Chicago area as well, do you have any structured classes in addition to the book?

      Delete
    2. looks like you have your U4 responses exactly right--charged with a felony, not convicted or charged of a misdemeanor that is investment-related. FINRA will find out the whole story, so the misdemeanor will come to light. But it's not grounds for disqualification. We have not found it profitable to do live classes, but i do a lot of private online tutoring. see www.passthe65.com/tutoring.htm

      Delete
  140. Hi Mr. Walker,

    I can't believe you have been answering questions here for so long. I'm sure a lot of people are thankful for your help in answering their questions. I see a lot of people here have drug convictions and sometimes I don't know if my problem is worse or not, but from reading all the responses I think it is :(

    In 2010 I had a felony theft added to my record because I stole library books. I am in the process of paying everything back and I received 5 years probation. Up until that point, my record was clean, and nothing has been added since then, not even a parole violation. I am currently paying back all the damages as well. In your opinion do you think they would make an exception for me to take the series 65?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude, you definitely should have done the drugs, instead.
      JK.
      But, yes, this petty theft is a major red flag while a kid doing drugs is, like, expected. And, it's recent.
      But, can you TAKE the Series 65? Yes. You would use a U10 form and only fill out your contact information. You would take the exam. And then, you would apply for an IAR license from your state . .. which is where the U4 comes in. Or, if you wanted to start your own RIA, you'd have to disclose the theft on ADV. It would stink to pass the 65 but not be able to do anything with it. Then again, the results are good for 2 years--it is petty theft--and I presume you were born in the 90's at the earliest, right? How many library books did you take, and did any of the titles include Pass the 65? Perhaps I can put in a good word for you? Hey, I gotta admit, your honor, the list price IS pretty freakin' high for a guy on a budget.

      Delete
    2. I just emailed one of the staff attorneys at NASAA to double-check this. It seems obvious that the U10 would NOT trigger any investigations by anyone, because NASAA is not a regulator, and you're not even alerting your state when you merely take the Series 65/66/63 exam. But . . . I've learned that assumptions are always wrong in this industry, except when they're exactly correct. So

      Delete
  141. Question..... I am trying to get into this company but what is stopping me is a felony. but the felony was diverted and dismissed but on my back ground check it still shows up that i have a charg of this felony. so my question is sence i was never convicted in court and my charges where dismissed through diversion program would i still be able to get licensed

    ReplyDelete
  142. a charge does not = statutory disqualification. A felony CONVICTION usually does, as do misdemeanors involving money or dishonesty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so i jsut got a letter from the D/A office saying..... The above named individual was arrested for the charge mentioned on or about april 24, 2009, however, he was not prosecuted by the 4th judicial District attorney's office for that charge. In essence he did not go to trial, he was not convicted nor did he enter into any type of plea agreement. he was placed in our Diversion program on July 2, 2010 and has successfully completed all term and conditions of the program and the matter was dismissed on july 21, 2011

      Delete
    2. so with this should i be able to get licensed?

      Delete
  143. If the comapny still turnes me down is there any way i can still get linecsed any way else?

    ReplyDelete
  144. They're just one company. Goldman Sachs, from what I've been told, won't hire anyone with ANY issue on the U4. Probably because they don't need to. Other firms will hire you as long as FINRA grants the registration. A charge by itself does not = statutory disqualification.

    ReplyDelete
  145. I have a question about eligibility. I am a convicted felon, I violated a protective order in CT. I have no drug, violent or theft convictions/charges/arrests on my record. I want to qualify for the Series 63 & 65 registration. I don't care about the series 6 & 7 license, I want to incorporate & manage my portfolio as a securities-holding firm under an.s-corp (tax shelter for.compounding purposes). I don't have any ambition to manage other people's money or raise funds through a public or private sale of securities. I will worry about raising capital later. I prefer to have the credentials now for future reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  146. From what you're saying, Phoenix, I don't see any reason to take the Series 65 exam at this point. You're not managing people's money, so you're not an investment adviser. After 10 years, you could set up your own RIA without having to disclose the felony on Form ADV. However, if you want to register as an IAR or securities agent, you'll have to disclose it on Form U4. Not sure how passing the Series 65 would actually be a "credential" . . . ?

    ReplyDelete
  147. Hello, and thanks in advance for the advice. I recieved a felony drug conviction in California in 2008 (19 yrs old) for sales of a schedule 1 drug but since then I have had the felony "expunged" from my record. Do you have any information or knowledge about how this expungement affects my ability to get a series 7 licence?

    ReplyDelete
  148. This is tricky. You should have an attorney with experience in this area verify it, but my reading of FINRA's instructions looks like this: an expunged conviction means you can truthfully answer 'NO" to being convicted of the felony, but the answer to whether you were CHARGED is still . . . YES. Aren't they cagey? this way, they always find out. This is a real hurdle. It's a felony, and it represents an illegal money-making scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  149. This is tricky. You should have an attorney with experience in this area verify it, but my reading of FINRA's instructions looks like this: an expunged conviction means you can truthfully answer 'NO" to being convicted of the felony, but the answer to whether you were CHARGED is still . . . YES. Aren't they cagey? this way, they always find out. This is a real hurdle. It's a felony, and it represents an illegal money-making scheme.

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  150. I just went through the U-4 form on the FINRA website and you are right in regards to their questions. Page 12 reads,

    14A. (1) Have you ever:
    (a) been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere ("no contest") in a domestic, foreign, or military
    court to any felony? O O
    (b) been charged with any felony? O O
    (2) Based upon activities that occurred while you exercised control over it, has an organization ever:
    (a) been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere ("no contest") in a domestic or foreign court to
    any felony?
    O O
    (b) been charged with any felony? O O
    14B. (1) Have you ever:
    (a) been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere ("no contest") in a domestic, foreign or military
    court to a misdemeanor involving: investments or an investment-related business or any fraud, false
    statements or omissions, wrongful taking of property, bribery, perjury, forgery, counterfeiting,
    extortion, or a conspiracy to commit any of these offenses?
    O O
    (b) been charged with a misdemeanor specified in 14B(1)(a)? O O
    (2) Based upon activities that occurred while you exercised control over it, has an organization ever:
    (a) been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere ("no contest") in a domestic or foreign court to a
    misdemeanor specified in 14B(1)(a)?
    O O
    (b) been charged with a misdemeanor specified in 14B(1)(a)?

    I guess my next question would be, how discretionary of a matter is this process? Does the fact that they distinguish between non-financial felonies and financial related felonies mean that I have a chance in being accepted? Is there a seperate process in which I can go through to have my side of the story told to show that I am rehabilitated? Does the firm that hires me prior to filling out the U-4 have any say in the matter?

    ReplyDelete
  151. I am trying to obtain my series 6 and my prv. employer I was registered with but never passed the test. I later left the firm and they put terminated on my u-5 for check kiting. Also, I have no felonies or misdeanors. Does this mean no firm or Finra will approve me?

    ReplyDelete
  152. check kiting is a red flag. Usually, it's a misdemeanor, and it's definitely investment-related. Did you write bad checks through the firm's affiliated bank?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for answering this..I was not charged nor arrested for this. All monies had been deposited into the account. The firm did not take a loss and yes it was on the firm's affilated bank.

      Delete
    2. Would this be game over for me to get my Series 6 license?

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure anything is a game-over in this business. If you can find a BD who wants to hire you, they must know they can get you registered.

      Delete
  153. I was charged with a third degree felony but had my adjudication withheld in florida back in 2005. Completed my probation term in 2010, i was wondering would this be a problem for me getting a Insurance license and later getting my securities licenses?

    ReplyDelete
  154. Not sure about insurance licensing, but on your U4, you'll have to answer YES--you were charged with a felony. Having your adjudication withheld might or might not = a conviction, but since you were CHARGED, FINRA will find out about the whole thing, anyway, and you'll have to explain it with a DRP and documentation. It will be a hassle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, thanks for the help. I'll give it a go and let you know how it comes out, this may be useful to others in the future.

      Delete
  155. Have you ever heard of anyone who had their felony conviction expunged, answered yes to being CHARGED with a felony on the u4 form, went through the hassle of explaining it with a DRP, and was eventually approved for the series 7 licence? If so what kind of charges were they?

    ReplyDelete
  156. that's a great question, but it would require piles and piles of cases and hours and hours of research. The best answer is really this: it doesn't matter, because lying on U4 is ALWAYS a game-over. I know this: in IL a woman answered "no" on her U4, and then the Securities Dept looked her up in a federal database and, oopsie, there she was, 17 years earlier, convicted of misdemeanor embezzlement from a credit union. They would have given her the license if she'd just come clean and explained it; since she lied, they revoked it.

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  157. check it out--it's a public record: http://www.passthe63.com/enforcement/stephanieelliott_coor.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  158. Hello Mr. Walker. I have been charged with a misdemeanor possession of a hallucinogenic drug (marijuana) and have two previous DUI convictions. I have not been convicted of the possession charge as of yet, and have court next month. I live in Kansas and have been offered a job with an insurance agency as long as I pass the health and life insurance exams. I have no felonies. Will this misdemeanor conviction bar me from becoming licensed? Would it bar me from becoming licensed with FINRA? I was told by the recruiter that the DUI's would not matter but have not told him about the misdemeanor drug possession charge yet and am unsure if I should. Please write back with your thoughts and thank you for your time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't appear that FINRA has a reason to keep you out, but a broker-dealer might balk at hiring you. FINRA will want all the documentation on these cases, and that can be a hassle.

      Delete
  159. I asked about the misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge earlier. If I become health and life insurance licensed but have not been convicted, only charged, how will that affect the license. And what about the 65 and 66? Is it worth telling my employer if it will not affect the licensing? Have two misdemeanor DUI's and one misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Less than 1g.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is tricky. It looks like you can answer no-no-no-no on Item 14 of Form U4. HOWEVER, FINRA is going to find out about the DUI's and probably the possession charge . . . so THAT'S when the employer would also find out. Do you want the employer to find out ahead of time from you? Or, would you prefer to come into the office every day wondering if today is the day you get called into the big office to explain yourself? These are not reportable on U4, apparently, but FINRA will still find out about them and hassle you accordingly. Since you would be an IAR (not the adviser firm itself) you'd be registering via Form U4 regardless of whether you become an "agent" or an "investment adviser representative."

      Delete
  160. Hello Mr. Walker, I was charged with possession of a controlled substance but the conviction was pled down to a misdemeanor. I called FINRA and asked if this would restrict me from taking the series 7 and the said it would not, good news. However, do you have any pointers for filling out the DRP when explaining the incident? I want to shed the best light possible on the situation but at the same time dont want to violate any rules when explaining. Thank you for the help.

    ReplyDelete
  161. felony possession? Wow. Them cops wasn't playin'. I have never filled out a DRP (disclosure reporting page), and your question is a technical one that should only be answered by an attorney who represents folks in your situation or a compliance officer at a broker-dealer. We know this: being CHARGED with a crime does not disqualify you. And the misdemeanor you copped to is not investment-related. Given this incident, the only way you could get in trouble is to fail to disclose it and then let FINRA find out. Don't forget--FINRA is half the battle. You really get your "license" from your state regulator.

    ReplyDelete
  162. I was charged with felony intent to distribute. The charge was dismissed and felony possession was added. I pled guilty to that and received a deferred entry of judgment. I have not been convicted and the case will be dismissed upon completion of the program. Will I be barred from working from being registered at a BD?

    ReplyDelete
  163. So, you have to disclose that you were charged with felonies and pled guilty to a felony. That does not look like an automatic game-over, just a big hurdle to clear with a BD and then with FINRA and your state.

    ReplyDelete
  164. When I was 17 I received a juvenile adjudication in IL for burglary of an automobile. It has been 10 years since conviction and I have had no trouble since. I want to make sure I am able to get licensed. I have called FINRA and they say since it has been 10 years I will be fine. I have been working with my institution for 2 years now and am trying to move to a higher up position where I will need to be licensed. Do you think I will have problems or do you have a lawyer I can consult that you could recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This will be an issue for you. You will need all the documentation they request, both FINRA and the state securities department. Almost sure you can get licensed, but your firm is now going to know all about the burglary conviction.

      Delete
  165. I am the customer of a Series 7 licensed financial advisor in Springfield MO. I just learned that she recently pled guilty to a felony charge of interstate stalking. Will she lose her license as a result? Apparently the stalking felony, to which she pled guilty, was related to her trying to intimidate and harm her daughter's ex-boyfriend. I think I'll move my money to someone else, but this advisor has close to half a billion under management and is very well known.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Pleading guilty to a felony is usually a game-over. I would call the firm and ask for the compliance department. You have a legitimate concern that someone facing this situation might start churning or siphoning cash from your account.

    ReplyDelete
  167. I 've a friend will be taking the series 66 in August and have a case in court for shoplifting. if she is charge can she take the 66. She has a clean record.

    ReplyDelete
  168. she can take the exam, but when she applies for a license, she will have to answer YES, she was charged with either a felony or with a misdemeanor relevant to this industry. And, if she's convicted, pleads guilty or "no contest," she will not get a license as an IAR.

    ReplyDelete
  169. shoplifting tells a securities regulator pretty much everything he or she needs to know about an applicant. For virtually no upside, this person decided to steal and put her future at risk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. she already have a series 7, What if she get a lawyer and have her record expunge. She has a series 7.
      Thank you

      Delete
    2. Regardless the situation is not securites related.

      Delete
    3. She'll need an attorney, for sure, but even if she gets a conviction expunged, she has to answer YES, she was charged with either a felony or an investment-related misdemeanor. Shoplifting is securities-related, as are all crimes involving money or dishonesty.

      Delete
    4. Hi R Walker,
      I am very glad i found your blog. 9 years and 2 months ago i was convicted of breaking and entering. It was a felony conviction. My bank has agreed to sponsor me for my series 7 and 63. Will i be disqualified?

      thanks

      Delete
    5. Taking clothing is a securities-related.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  170. Hi:

    I currently hold a life insurance license and would like to study and take the exam for the securities license. All my records were clean (criminal, credit and driving) until I got arrested for shoplifting. I hired an attorney and he seems to be pretty confident that the charges will be dismissed due to the way the things happened (due to distraction). My question is: Can this arrest affect my eligibility to get the securities license even if the charges are dismissed?? I would really appreciate your answer because otherwise I will have to notify my boss that I wont be able to get that license.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  171. a charge would not prevent you from getting licensed. A conviction for shoplifting might do that. This will be a hassle, but a charge by itself is not enough for statutory disqualification.

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  172. Hi Mr. Walker, you blog has been the most informative I have found. I have been a licenses p&c agent for 10 years. Recently I was charged with felony cultivation of marijuana over 200 grams. The wind blew my front door open and a neighbor called the police who searched my entire house and found 4 plants in a tent in a storage closet in my basement without a warrant , said they were looking for a buglar. I know sounds crazy! Anyway I informed the Ohio department of insurance as soon as charges were filed. I have the backing of my employer and many client character letters. My case isn't finished yet I have plead not guilty. Lawyer is hoping for motion to supress or treatment in luei of conviction. What are the chances the insurance board renews my license? Thank you for your time.

    ReplyDelete
  173. well, I'm not a lawyer, but it seems clear a defense attorney has a lot to work with over 4th amendment issues. Pleading guilty, no contest, or a conviction of any felony will likely be a deal breaker, so your legal advice and strategy are key here. I don't know about insurance, but securities regulators disqualify for felonies and certain misdemeanors. Cultivation is a wild-card . . . some regulators will view it as an illegal money-making scheme, or could. If so . . . that's bad.

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  174. people would prefer Yes. or No answers but it's always case-by-case. This case could go a lot of different ways. It's a tough hand to play, but your lawyer seems to have some cards. If it's a bad search, the whole case could get dismissed. If it's not a bad search, maybe it was for personal use. Trouble is, you weren't LICENSED to grow it . . .see the problem? I've actually bandied this about with an attorney at one of the state securities departments--she was even more wishy-washy than I.

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  175. The police have already stated it was for personal use, as there were no trafficking materials, scales, guns, money, list. but because they weigh the entire plant, it weighed over 200 grams, and is a felony. i feel it was a bad search: neighbor said my front door was open, nothing disturbed in my house, and still they searched through my entire house. but lawyer seems to think intervention is the way to go? i have seen cases where the department approves P&C licenses for drug felonies in my research. i guess we wont know until i go in front of the board???? any advice is greatly appreiciated.

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