October 18, 2010 Comments (0) Blog, Securities Fraud

FINRA Fines Piper Jaffray For Rules Violations.

(Last Updated On: July 17, 2015)

FINRA recently announced that it has fined Piper Jaffray & Co. $700,000 for violations related to its failure to retain approximately 4.3 million emails from November 2002 through December 2008. Piper Jaffray also failed to inform FINRA of its email retention and retrieval issues, which impacted the firm’s ability to comply completely with email extraction requests from FINRA. It also may have affected the firm’s ability to respond fully to email requests from other regulators or from parties in civil litigation or arbitrations.

Piper Jaffray had previously been sanctioned for email retention failures in November 2002, in a joint action by the Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Stock Exchange Regulation and NASD arising from investigations of the firm’s conflicts of interest between its investment banking and research departments. As part of that settlement, Piper Jaffray was required to review its systems and certify that it had established systems and procedures designed to preserve electronic mail communications. The firm made that certification to regulators in March 2003. At no time did the firm alert regulators that its system was experiencing problems.

FINRA discovered Piper Jaffray’s continuing email retention deficiencies when its investigators requested all emails sent or received by a former firm employee suspected of misconduct. The firm provided a CD-ROM purportedly containing all of the employee’s emails, on both his firm and Bloomberg email accounts. When reviewing the CD-ROM’s contents, however, FINRA discovered that one particular email was not produced that investigators had already obtained in hard copy form – an email whose contents sparked an internal investigation that led to the employee’s termination, and formed the basis for a FINRA enforcement action against the employee. Only after further inquiries about that missing email did the firm finally inform FINRA of the intermittent email retention and retrieval issues it had been experiencing firmwide since the November 2002 action.

In settling this matter, Piper Jaffray neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.

If you have questions about investment you made with Piper Jaffray, The White Law Group may be able to help.

The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida. With over 30 years of securities law experience, including experience working at FINRA (f/k/a the NASD) and the SEC, The White Law Group has the expertise to help investors defrauded in securities, investment and financial business transactions.

For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

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