For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Dominic Cammarota submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Dominic Cammarota, Respondent (AWC 2011030032101, November 1, 2012).
Associated person Cammarota entered the securities industry in September 2011 with SagePoint Financial, where he remained until his discharge on November 14, 2011.
On October 13, 2012, SagePoint filed a Uniform Application For Securities Industry Registration Or Transfer Form (the Form U4) to open a Series 6 examination window for Cammarota to take the Series 6: Investment Company/Variable Contracts Products Limited Representative examination.
On October 26, 2011,Cammarota took the Series 6 examination at a Lake Forrest, CA testing center. Prior to the commencement of the exam, Cammarota electronically confirmed that he had read and agreed to the testing center's Rules of Conduct. Among the admonitions in thoseRules is a prohibition against taking into the testing room any personal items including notes and study materials. Further, the Rules expressly prohibit the receipt of any form of assistance during the examination.
The AWC alleges that while taking the examination, Cammarota improperly possessed, and used, unauthorized notes relating to the subject matter of the examination, in violation of NASD Rule 1080 and FINRA Rule 2010. In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Cammarota a Bar from association with any FINRA member in any capacity.
Note that a consequence of the nature of the cheating violation is that Cammarota becomes statutorily disqualified. Pointedly, his AWC contains the following disclosure:
I understand that if I am barred or suspended from associating with any FINRA member, I become subject to a statutory disqualification as that term is defined in Article III, Section 4 of FINRA's By-Laws, incorporating Section 3(a)(39) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Accordingly, I may not be associated with any FINRA member in any capacity, including clerical or ministerial functions, during the period of the bar or suspension (see FINRA Rules 8310 and 8311). . .
Exam cheating is not a particularly isolated fact patterns for Wall Street. "Street Sweeper" has written about testing hi-jinks by folks at Merrill Lynch, Wedbush, Chase, MetLife, and other firms. As the reported cases show, sometimes folks cheat on their exams, sometimes they fudge their scores, and other times, well, if you can think of a variation, someone has likely done it already. Word to the wise: Study!