Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

January 18, 2020
In today's blog we are consider the regulatory consequences of an associated person's criminal conduct. In discharging its regulatory role, FINRA promptly investigated the matter and entered into a settlement by which the individual will effectively be disqualified from industry registration. All in all, FINRA did its job in a compelling and timely manner. Notwithstanding that justice seems to have been served, there are still some minor problems with the AWC settlement document, which offers us the opportunity to explore what Wall Street's employees are expected to disclose about their criminal histories.
Guest blogger Aegis Frumento has logged in an impressive number of hours on Microsoft's Flight Simulator. After he got a pilot's license, Aegis realized that flying a desk-top simulator and flying for real are not the same. Nonetheless, Aegis got to try out one of the Air Force's real full-motion, full cockpit, flight simulator of the massive C5 Galaxy cargo plane -- it is a matter of immense pride that Aegis actually managed not to crash the thing in executing a virtual nighttime landing. With those credentials, Aegis attempts the difficult maneuver of trying to explain the debacle of Boeing's 737MAX.
Wall Street often looks and feels like a casino. Trades are bets. Traders talk about sure-things. Customers seek an edge at the table. Then ya got yer sore losers, who believe that the dice were loaded and the cards marked. Given what the House rakes in on each and every bet, there's a grudging acceptance on the Street that sometimes it's best to settle a lawsuit because the House is gonna make back the losses over time anyways, so, what the hell, give her a short stack of chips and keep her quiet. On the other hand, not all customer complaints are nonsense, and when they're not, the firm should quickly pay out the bucks needed to keep things quiet and defend its reputation. In today's blog we consider what happens when a brokerage firm declines to cut its losses via settlement and goes all-in during an arbitration.
In a 2018 FINRA Arbitration Statement of Claim, a former Merrill Lynch senior manager alleged that his former employer had engaged in RICO-like fraud when it failed to pay him his just compensation upon his 2010 resignation. Claimant alleged that his damages were caused by the 2008 collapse of the securitized residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS") and collateralized debt obligations ("CDO") markets. Although a Merrill Lynch manager, Claimant argued that he had no knowledge of his employer's fraudulent role in the collapse of the cited markets. 2008 RMBS/CDO collapse. 2010 resignation. 2018 FINRA Arbitration claim. Did Claimant timely file his claim?