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Petition For Review Of NASD Action Dismissed

Robert M. Ryerson, Exchange Act Rel. 57839 (May 20, 2008)


A NASD disciplinary panel suspended Ryerson from association with a member for two years and fifteen days, fined him $235,000, and ordered him to pay costs.  On appeal the NASD affirmed these sanctions, but modified the sanction by requiring him to pay all fines and costs after seven days written notice or face summary revocation (the initial sanction had conditioned payment of the monetary sanctions on his re-entry into the securities industry).

He was informed by NASD that he had thirty days to appeal this decision to the SEC.  After the appeal period NASD informed him that his registration would be revoked if he did not pay the monetary sanctions.  His lawyer took the position that the decision on appeal had not modified the initial decision conditioning payment on his re-entry.  Needless to say, NASD did not concur in this interpretation.  After receiving several letters from NASD demanding payment fourteen months after the NASD appellate decision, Ryerson filed an appeal with the SEC.  

The SEC dismissed the appeal on the ground that Ryerson had not complied with the requirement that he appeal within thirty days.  Although Commission rules permit it to extend the appeal period on a showing of extraordinary circumstances, none justify doing so in this instance.  The Commission noted that Ryerson had written notice from NASD that it considered the appellate decision dispositive and did not agree with his counsel's interpretation.  It also concluded that Ryerson had made a tactical decision not to timely appeal after learning of NASD's position.  Finally, the Commission denied Ryerson's request that it stay NASD's collection efforts noting that it has no jurisdiction to take such action.


It should not be surprising that the SEC does not think that the rule that allows thirty days for an appeal really means fourteen months instead.  Ryerson's appeal was filed with the Commission on October 17, 2008.  For some unexplained reason the Commission took 7 months and 3 days to issue this routine decision.