Bill Singer at Forbes tells the unfortunate tale of Justin Witt, who had the nerve—and perhaps dumb presumption—that he could fake his failing Series 7 test score and have his employer not find out.Well, we were pretty shocked that anyone thought they could pull this off in the digital age too.
Witt was hired by Merrill Lynch and joined their training program to prepare for his Series 7—the general securities exam required of brokers.
When he finally took the test, he failed with a score of 64%, according to FINRA records.
Witt, however, told Merrill Lynch that he had passed his test, and provided a fake report. But the same day that he failed FINRA, the authority that oversees the tests, had already alerted Merrill Lynch that Witt had failed. Because, yes, it is the 21st century and all these scores are digitalized and kept in an internal database and sent to Merrill. Apparently, Witt forgot that point.
When Merrill and FINRA decide to conduct an investigation into the scores, Witt finally fessed up that he had faked his scores and lied to his employer.
Now? FINRA has barred him from the industry.
Take that as a lesson for the day.