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Finra Bars Aspiring Agents in Its First On-line Dishonest Sanctions

Brokerage-industry regulator Finra has barred two people for allegedly dishonest on on-line securities examinations, the primary such movements it has introduced involving faraway assessments.

If authorized via Finra assessment panels, the movements will quantity to indefinite brokerage {industry} bars, however Autiero and Kausar will likely be eligible to use for reinstatement.


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This week, Finra revealed letters of acceptance, waiver, and consent (AWC) signed via Brandon Autiero and Harris Kausar. Each submitted to {industry} bans stemming from dishonest allegations with out admitting or denying the fees.

Since January 2021, Finra has suspended or barred 12 people for dishonest on in-person assessments or possessing unauthorized fabrics all the way through their trying out classes, however those are the primary punishments involving remotely proctored assessments.

“Check cheaters are on understand: irrespective of the trying out surroundings, Finra stays vigilant in our efforts to stumble on dishonest and can vigorously pursue disciplinary motion—together with everlasting bars—towards someone who cheats on qualification examinations,” Jessica Hopper, government vp and head of Finra’s division of enforcement, stated in a commentary.

If authorized via Finra’s assessment panels, the movements will quantity to indefinite bars from associating with any registered brokerage company, consistent with a Finra spokesman, despite the fact that Autiero and Kausar will likely be eligible to use for reinstatement.

In each AWC letters, Finra explains that the respondent “will not be related to any FINRA member in any capability, together with clerical or ministerial purposes, all the way through the length of the bar or suspension,” however does no longer stipulate the length of the bar for both person. A seek within the on-line database BrokerCheck for Autiero, who was once prior to now registered with Equitable Advisors however resigned following the allegations of dishonest, signifies that he’s “no longer lately registered,” despite the fact that the Finra spokesman confirms that the report will likely be up to date to mirror his standing as “barred.”

An legal professional for Autiero, Scott Matasar, declined to remark at the subject. Kausar’s legal professional, David S. Wealthy, didn’t right away reply to a voicemail and an inquiry via his company’s web page in search of remark.

Each Autiero and Kausar had secured lodging to take their examinations remotely, as has transform a not unusual apply all the way through the pandemic. On-line assessments are proctored remotely via trying out body of workers, and are taken on camera-equipped computer systems.

Autiero was once sitting for the Finra Collection 7 examination in March 2021, and, later that yr, took the North American Securities Directors Affiliation Collection 66 examination thrice, and the Nasaa Collection 63 examination as soon as. “All the way through every qualification exam, Autiero accessed the web, together with on-line boards, to help with answering exam questions,” Autiero’s AWC states. Each the Finra and Nasaa assessments are coated via the moral habits requirements in Finra’s Rule 2010. Kausar’s alleged dishonest happened in December 2021, when he was once sitting for the Finra Collection 79 examination to transform an funding banking consultant.

Kausar, who was once related to Barclays Capital however no longer but registered with Finra, was once fired after failing to go the Collection 79 examination, consistent with the AWC.

The AWC letters will now be reviewed via Finra’s Nationwide Adjudicatory Council or the Workplace of Disciplinary Affairs. If authorized there, they’re going to be appended to every respondent’s disciplinary report, and every will face “a bar from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities.”

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