While employed at my prior broker-dealer, I allowed a husband to sign a form on behalf of his housebound wife with her knowledge and approval. Unfortunately, I only had verbal authorization from the wife allowing her husband to sign on her behalf, so while it seemed a relatively minor issue and no one was harmed, it resulted in my termination. FINRA originally asked me to write a response, which I did. I heard nothing further and thought it was over with. It is now over a year after I sent my written response and FINRA has written to ask me to come in for an on-the-record interview. Is it normal to be called in for an OTR after so much time has passed?

FINRA Rule 8210 (Provision of Information and Testimony and Inspection and Copying of Books) confers on FINRA staff the authority to compel a member, person associated with a member, or other person over whom FINRA has jurisdiction to produce documents, provide testimony or supply written responses or electronic data in connection with an investigation, complaint, examination or adjudicatory proceeding. The rule applies to all members, associated persons and other persons over which FINRA has jurisdiction, including former associated persons subject to FINRA’s jurisdiction (i.e., those who haven’t registered with a new brokerage firm within two years after leaving the previous broker-dealer). But a 13-month delay between an 8210 written submission and a proposed 8210 on-the-record interview is not typical. FINRA may have lost your file or something else may have come up of which you are unaware. I would urge you to retain a lawyer and have the lawyer obtain at least a 30-day extension of the OTR so you have time to look into this further. FINRA will usually grant an extension on a first request as long as no client funds are at risk or there’s no other “emergency” involved.

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