SEC Fingerprinting with a Felony Conviction

I recently accepted a equity research internship with a middle market bank for the summer. I have a felony conviction for criminal recklessness that is set to convert to a misdemeanor April '18. I applied to have the conviction converted sooner and was denied this week. I was counting on that conversion, now I'm not sure what to do. The bank never asked me to submit to a background check and there was not a felony checkbox on the application. Two SEC fingerprint cards came with my intern pack and I'm required to have them done by my start date pursuant to SEC Rule 17f-2. Upon fingerprinting the SEC will surely unearth my felony, will this prevent my employment?

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Comments (5)

Best Response
May 13, 2017 - 10:27am

You should definitely ask their HR person or whoever is managing their internship process. I'm pretty sure a quick background check using just your name and DOB will uncover the issue, so better to ask now then get awkwardly fired 1-2 weeks into your internship.

Unfortunately I believe a felony conviction is going to be a serious hurdle to work at any broker dealer. You could probably work in other areas of finance such as corporate finance or consulting, but working at any bank or investment adviser is going to be very difficult. You probably should have given this some thought a while ago...

May 14, 2017 - 5:55pm

The company has not conducted a background check thus far, never asked for my consent to conduct one or even asked if I had any arrests/convictions. Do you think they will wait until my start date to do so? None of the paperwork in my internship pack mentions a background check. Only the SEC registration fingerprinting.

May 14, 2017 - 10:34pm
None of the paperwork in my internship pack mentions a background check. Only the SEC registration fingerprinting.

Sounds sloppy on their part, but at the same time the SEC fingerprinting would also reveal any important criminal records, so maybe they're passing the buck to the SEC. When I interned at a BB I had to consent to a background check and also a drug test before starting.

Look you can play your chances and maybe they don't find out or don't care because you're an intern, but this will definitely be an issue for a full time position. I'll let you do the research but I'm pretty sure a felony conviction in the past decade disqualifies you from working at a broker dealer. Even if you slide through your internship with nobody noticing you need to bring it up before you accept a FT offer. They will find out at some point.

May 15, 2017 - 12:09am

The felony will convert to a misdemeanor prior to when I would start full time. Would it be possible to intern in Equity Research without being registered with FINRA?

May 15, 2017 - 9:27am

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