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Carmel, Milazzo & Feil Obtain Successful Appeal and Vacatur of FINRA Disciplinary Finding

Press Release – New York, NY – April 13, 2020 – Securities and corporate law firm Carmel, Milazzo & Feil LLP announced today that attorneys Timothy Feil, Esq., and Craig Riha, Esq., obtained an appellate decision from the National Adjudicatory Council (“NAC”), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) committee that reviews FINRA disciplinary proceedings, for their client Southeast Investments, N.C., Inc. (“SEI”). The NAC vacated disciplinary findings made by the FINRA Office of Hearing Officers (“OHO”).

Mr. Feil and Mr. Riha did not represent SEI during the original OHO disciplinary proceeding.  The OHO found that SEI had willfully violated securities laws and FINRA Rules by failing to inspect certain of its branch offices and by failing to maintain various e-mail correspondence. As a result, SEI was levied with significant fines and a statutory disqualification pursuant to the finding of willfulness.  Based upon the NAC’s Decision, the finding of failure to inspect branch offices was vacated, and the finding of failure to maintain e-mails was significantly reduced. In addition, all OHO findings made against SEI of willfulness were vacated, resulting in a vacatur of the statutory disqualification against it. Finally, the NAC significantly reduced fines imposed against SEI by nearly $100,000 given the vacatur of the OHO findings as against SEI. 

Mr. Feil and Mr. Riha are pleased with the NAC result for SEI and maintain that this NAC Decision is affirmation that broker dealers should not accept their fate as determined by FINRA Department of Enforcement or OHO when the objective facts tell a different story, especially where such determinations can drastically affect the business operations and legacy of the firm and its representatives.

See Dept. of Enforcement v. Southeast Investments N.C., Inc., Complaint No. 2014039285401.

You can find the decision here: https://www.finra.org/sites/default/files/fda_documents/2014039285401%20Southeast%20Investments%20CRD%2043035%20Frank%20Harmon%20Black%20CRD%2022451%20NAC%20Decision%20jm%20%282019-1563542383902%29.pdf

About Carmel, Milazzo & Feil LLP
Carmel, Milazzo & Feil LLP is a nationally recognized securities and corporate law firm that provides experienced representation in all matters involving the securities industry. Our attorneys specialize in advising clients on private placements, initial (IPOs) and secondary public offerings, alternative public offerings, preparation of SEC filings and listings on the NYSE, NASDAQ and OTC Markets. In addition, our litigation and arbitration attorneys are highly skilled in representing clients from routine lawsuits to complex cases before the SEC, FINRA, and other tribunals, as well as State and Federal Courts.

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