While all Americans have a right to refuse to testify against themselves, they should not expect to continue working in the securities business if they exercise that Constitutional right.
In Monday the NASD
stripped Justin F. Ficken of his NASD broker's registration in reaction to Ficken's refusal to take the stand against himself. Fickel is one of six former employees in a Boston branch of Prudential Securities accused of defrauding funds by disguising their identity in order to execute market timing trades.
A U.S. District Court judge tossed a case brought by the SEC against the brokers on Monday. After the decision, SEC officials said they plan to amend the complaint against the brokers and refile the case.
A NASD hearing officer sanctioned Ficken after he refused to testify during hearings for the case. Ficken can appeal the decision and his lawyer told the Boston Herald that he expects to file an appeal. If no appeal is filed the NASD ruling will take effect in 25 days.
While the Fifth Amendment bars government officials from punishing an individual for refusing to bear witness against themselves, the NASD contends that it is a private organization and has a right to take action against those who fail to follow its rules.
Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief
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