On March 19, 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) accepted a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent (AWC) submitted by J.D. Nicholas and Associates Inc., formerly known as A&F Securities, Inc. The AWC as submitted in February, 2015 to propose a settlement regarding findings that the firm failed to block outgoing calls to numbers on the Federal Trade Commission's national do-not-call (DNC) registry, and failed to maintain records and file reports on the complaints the firm received. FINRA censured and fined J.D. Nicholas $35,000.
In the overview of the AWC, J.D. Nicholas consented that in June, 2013, it "failed to reasonably enforce its supervisory procedures related to telemarketing activities," after the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation found the firm had called New Hampshire residents on the DNC registry multiple times. FINRA fined the firm $40,000 and prohibited them from soliciting any new business from New Hampshire residents for one year.
Similarly, in February 2013, J.D. Nicholas consented to findings of the Arkansas Securities Commissioner that the firm's supervisory systems failed to prevent outbound calls to residents of Arkansas who were on the DNC registry. For this violation, FINRA fined the firm $17,500.
In 2010, A&F entered into an AWC for failing to report multiple complaints and failure to maintain records of those complaints, among other violations. FINRA fined the firm $27,500 at that time.