Stockbroker Fined And Suspended For Sending Business Emails From Personal Account

March 1, 2013

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, Michael Rapley submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Michael Rapley, Respondent (AWC 2010024535501, February 26, 2013).

Rapley entered the securities industry in 1995 and was registered with FINRA member firm Andrew Garrett, Inc. during the times relevant to this matter. The AWC asserts that Rapley had no prior disciplinary history with the SEC, any self-regulatory organization or any state securities regulator.

The AWC alleges that between January 2007 and October 2008, notwithstanding Rapley's awareness of Andrew Garrett's written policy prohibiting employees from using personal email accounts for communications relating to the firm's business, he sent and received dozens of business-related emails through his personal email account. Further, by failing to forward to Andrew Garrett either electronic or printed copies of the communications, Rapley interfered with his firm's obligation to review and retain such correspondence, thus preventing the firm from fulfilling its supervisory and recordkeeping obligations under Exchange Act Rule 17a-4 and NASD Conduct Rules 3010 and 3110. The AWC deemed that Rapley's conduct constituted a violation of NASD Conduct Rule 2110.

In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Rapley a $5,000 fine and a 15-calendar-day suspension from associating in all capacities with any member firm.

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