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FINRA bar of ex-broker for cheating on exam upheld following appeal

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2021 | FINRA Compliance

A former broker who has barred by FINRA for cheating on a qualification exam has lost his appeal of the decision, according to a report by ThinkAdvisor.

The case involves Thomas John Lykos Jr., who initially failed the General Securities Principal Qualification Exam in April 2018 when he was a broker and chief compliance officer for the Sanders Morris Harris brokerage firm in Houston. He was removed from his CCO post and was told by the firm that he would need to pass the exam in order to resume his position.

When Lykos took the test a second time in July 2018, a FINRA hearing panel determined that he had cheated, saying that he had written notes for the exam on his driver’s license, in between his fingers and on his forearm. The panel also said he had received outside help by taking an unscheduled and unauthorized break outside the test center.

After Lykos was barred by FINRA for his conduct, he appealed the ruling. But the hearing panel’s initial decision has now been upheld by the organization’s National Adjudicatory Council. Lykos was ordered to pay over $5,100 in hearing costs and nearly $1,500 in appeal costs. The attorney who represented Lykos reportedly did not respond when asked for comment on the decision.

The GP exam, also known as the Series 24 exam, assesses the competency of an entry-level principal to perform their job as a principal dependent on their corequisite registration, according to FINRA.

For financial professionals who are under FINRA’s jurisdiction, you will likely receive a notice under FINRA Rule 8210 if you have been terminated for cause, or if a client files an arbitration or civil lawsuit against you or your firm relating to your conduct. If you are the subject of a regulatory proceeding by FINRA, the SEC or other self-regulatory organizations, contact Lewitas Hyman. Our attorneys have the experience to guide and advise you through any type of regulatory investigation. Contact us at (888) 655 6002 or through our online form for a free consultation.