October 23, 2021
Congratulations to the CFTC whistleblower and his/her law firm who hung in there and duked it out after getting sent to the canvass by an initial denial from the CFTC's Claims Review Subcommittee. Ya gotta love a fighter who gets back on his feet and wins the match. Unfortunately, the fight seems to have resulted in something less than a unanimous win with at least one CFTC Commissioner not going along with the scoring. On the other hand, that dissent is somewhat of a technical reservation that raises some fair points, but you're still left wondering whether the ref was making a point about the fight at issue or fighting in general.
At a bare minimum, we have the right to expect sufficient content and context in a FINRA Arbitration Award so as to render the published document intelligible. Frankly, that's not asking a lot. Unfortunately, there just doesn't seem to be quality review at FINRA once a final draft Award is presented for posting on the regulator's website. In a recent expungement arbitration, it's unclear what was expunged because we don't know what was said by an apparently unhappy customer, and, making things worse, it doesn't appear that the target of the customer's complaint had much, if anything, to do with the underlying transactions or purported losses.
In a recent federal case, Morgan Stanley raised a number of serious questions about a former employee, but those questions didn't help the firm win a TRO. On the other hand, the former employee is now handicapped in the ensuing race and laboring under the weight of those same questions. Making matters worse, the employee seems to have conceded that some alleged misconduct was an honest mistake. Not unexpectedly, the parties reached an agreement in the form of a Stipulated Preliminary Injunction Order.
Stockbroker and investment advisor Leon C. Vaccarelli got into the ring with the United States Government and thought he could go the distance against a 21-count Indictment. In the end, Vaccarelli found himself on his back, looking up at the ceiling, and being counted out. Perhaps hearing the bell for the 13th Round of a 12 Round fight, Vaccarelli continued to fight back via a Motion for Acquittal. Sometimes you just gotta know when to stay down.