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Proposed Rule

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PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO NFA Compliance Rule 3-11
(Additions are underscored and deletions are bracketed)

Compliance Rules

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Part 3 - Compliance Procedures

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Rule 3-11. Settlement

(a) Offer.

    (i) A subject of an investigation in which the investigation report has been completed, or a Respondent in a disciplinary proceeding, shall submit any proposed settlement of the matter to the Business Conduct Committee or its designated Panel ("BCC Panel") at any time up until 10 business days before the date of a scheduled hearing. A BCC Panel shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Business Conduct Committee, each of whom shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Business Conduct Committee. After that date, any proposed settlement offer shall be submitted to the Hearing Panel. Settlement offers may also be submitted to the Appeals Committee if the matter is before it on appeal or review. The Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel, Hearing Panel or Appeals Committee may accept or reject the settlement offer as it deems appropriate. The Compliance Director shall be afforded an opportunity to express the Compliance Department's views with respect to the proposed settlement;

    (ii) The Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel, Hearing Panel or Appeals Committee may in its discretion accept an offer in which the person neither admits nor denies violating NFA requirements; and

    (iii) Every settlement offer

      (a) shall contain the following language: Respondent acknowledges that the Compliance Department will present the settlement offer and its views on the proposed settlement orally, in writing or both;

      (b) presented to the Business Conduct Committee or BCC Panel shall also contain the following language: Respondent acknowledges that any settlement offer rejected by the Business Conduct Committee or BCC Panel will be forwarded to the Hearing Panel for its information in the event that Respondent subsequently submits a settlement offer to the Hearing Panel;

      (c) presented to the Hearing Panel shall also contain the following language: Respondent waives any objection to the Hearing Panel's participation in the hearing in the event that Respondent's settlement offer is rejected; [and]

      (d) presented to the Appeals Committee shall also contain the following language: Respondent acknowledges that any settlement offer rejected by the Appeals Committee will be forwarded to the Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel or Hearing Panel for its information in the event that Respondent subsequently submits a settlement offer to the Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel or Hearing Panel. Respondent waives any objection to the Appeals Committee's participation in the review in the event that Respondent's settlement offer is rejected[.]; and

      (e) shall also contain the following language: Respondent acknowledges that this settlement offer may not be withdrawn by the Respondent after it has been submitted to the Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel, Hearing Panel or Appeals Committee. In the event the settlement offer is rejected by the appropriate Committee or Panel, the settlement offer shall become null and void.

(b) Decision.

    If the Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel, Hearing Panel or Appeals Committee accepts the offer, it shall issue a written decision specifying each NFA requirement it has reason to believe is being, has been or is about to be violated, any penalty imposed and whether the settling party has admitted or denied any violation. A decision on settlement by the Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel or Hearing Panel shall be promptly furnished to the President. A decision on settlement by the Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel or Hearing Panel shall become final and binding 15 days after the date of the decision unless the President, with notice to all parties, refers the matter to the Appeals Committee for review. The Appeals Committee shall approve or disapprove the settlement within 30 days after the date of such referral. Its decision to approve or disapprove the settlement shall become final and binding 15 days after the date of that decision.

(c) Withdrawal of Settlement Offer is Prohibited.

    A settlement offer may [be withdrawn before final acceptance by] not be withdrawn by a Respondent after it is submitted tothe Business Conduct Committee, BCC Panel, Hearing Panel or Appeals Committee. An offer that is [withdrawn or] rejected by the appropriate Committee or Panel shall be null and void and shall not be deemed to have been an admission of any matter.

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