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Division of Securities


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The Division of Securities is the government entity responsible for enforcing securities regulations within the state. You may receive a complaint or advisory notice from the division, if someone files a complaint against you or your business. When this occurs, your next step should be to contact an experienced license defense lawyer to represent you through the investigation and possible disciplinary process. At Graff & McGovern, we have experience representing professionals in front of regulatory boards and commissions.

Contact us at (614) 228-5800, or use our online form, to schedule an appointment.

Division of Securities

The Division of Securities is part of the Ohio Department of Commerce. It is responsible for licensing and regulating:

  • FINRA broker-dealers
  • Non-FINRA broker-dealers
  • Investment advisers
  • Investment adviser representatives
  • Investment officers
  • Salespersons

In addition to licensing, the Division is also responsible for registering securities available in Ohio and for investigating allegations of licensed professionals or unlicensed individuals violating the Ohio Securities Act, other securities regulations, and professional rules.

Common Disciplinary Issues

The Division of Securities handles a wide range of disciplinary issues, including:

  • Failure to renew license
  • Unlicensed securities activity
  • Fraudulent sales of securities
  • Sale of unregistered securities
  • Unauthorized transactions
  • Improper solicitations
  • Deceptive marketing or advertising
  • Theft of funds
  • Failure to provide required disclosures
  • Insufficient record keeping

The Disciplinary Process & How a Lawyer Can Help

If someone files a complaint against you or your business for a violation of securities law, the Division of Securities will likely investigate the matter. You may receive an advisory letter, informing you of the need to correct a minor problem. You may also receive a letter regarding a potential disciplinary action. If you are under investigation for alleged misconduct, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to defend your professional reputation and credentials.

During the course of an investigation, you may be ordered to appear at an investigatory deposition. By having a lawyer, you may be able to clear up any misunderstandings or correct any unintentional errors, thereby avoiding a disciplinary hearing or sanctions. If the division decides to move forward with a disciplinary action, you will receive a formal notice. You then have the right to request a formal administrative hearing, where a lawyer may present a defense or negotiate a settlement on your behalf. A settlement may be favorable if a finding against you is likely. Specifically, through a consent agreement with the division, you have the chance to mitigate the possible sanctions against you.

Additionally, if you are best served by appearing in an administrative hearing, Graff & McGovern is prepared to aggressively defend you. We have a keen insight into the process you are facing. It provides us with the skills necessary to present evidence, including supporting documentation and witness testimony.

Ultimately, the hearing officer will recommend to the Division whether you should be sanctioned. If the hearing officer believes you are guilty of misconduct, he or she can suggest various penalties, including the suspension or revocation of your license and fines.

Furthermore, if the alleged misconduct is a federal or state crime, such as securities fraud or theft, then the Division of Securities may make a criminal referral to the appropriate prosecutor. In addition to defending yourself within the administrative process, you will also need to speak with an attorney about defending yourself in criminal court. Many securities violations can be charged as felonies, making it essential that you work with an experienced defense attorney.

Contact Graff & McGovern Today

The legal team at Graff & McGovern has decades of experience representing clients before government bodies. We boast three lawyers certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as Specialists in Administrative Agency Law. This is out of only eight lawyers with this distinction in the entire state. When facing an investigation or disciplinary action by the Division of Securities, you can be confident in our ability to guide you through the process and vigorously defend your license.

To learn more about how Graff & McGovern can help you, use our online form or call (614) 228-5800 to schedule a consultation.