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Is it illegal to lie about your criminal history on a job application for a software engineer for FDIC insured brokerage firm?

New York, NY |

Hello all,
I'm a software engineer and recently got a job opportunity to work for an FDIC insured brokerage firm that offers an electronic stock trading platform for customers. Would it be illegal to lie on a job application about my felony conviction under any New York state or Federal law? Considering the fact that nothing on the job application states that "I'm under oath of any kind" and there are no statements stating that "I may be prosecuted if I lie". My conviction is not fraud related. Unfortunately I have tried in the past to be truthful with potential employers after receiving a job offer and ended up hearing bunch of excuses as to why they think I could be a liability for the company. My question is, would I be risking my freedom by lying on a job application?
Thanks in advance

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    I don't think the FDIC has anything to do with your securities registration to work for an on-line brokerage. FINRA and the SEC deal with such things, and your application to work for a broker/dealer is through, among other things, a Form U4. You are required without exception to offer complete and truthful answers to the questions on the form. Your failure to do so will likely result in a lifetime ban from the securities industry. Questions 14(a)(1) and (2) of your Form U4 should be self-explanatory.

    That being said, you are going to have to find a firm with whom you can be upfront about your criminal history. If they like you enough, they should shepherd through the registration process and assist in asking for a waiver from FINRA if needed.

    The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client relationship.

  2. No, but it would be grounds for terminating you once they found out. You need to consult an employment lawyer before answering. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is taking a hard look at companies that discriminate against people with criminal convictions. The New York State Human Rights Law also makes it illegal to discriminate against applicants with past convictions.

  3. What is the point of lying? Don't you think they will do a background check?

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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