The National Association of Securities Dealers has barred Scott Ryan and expelled Ryan & Company from the securities industry for failure to cooperate in an ongoing investigation into allegations that Ryan and the firm engaged in abusive short-selling activity on behalf of three hedge fund clients.

As part of its probe, NASD requested that Ryan and the West Conshohoken, Pa.-based brokerage produce certain documents pertaining to short-selling and options transactions. The regulatory agency also asked for copies of their tax returns and certified financial statements for years 1999 through 2003. According to the NASD, the company refused to provide all but a portion of the requested documents, characterizing NASD requests as "burdensome" and "irrelevant."

As a result, an NASD hearing panel determined that Scott Ryan’s and Ryan & Co.’s arguments carried little weight and were not raised "in a good faith attempt to resolve their concerns in a timely and complete manner." Rather, the panel found that Ryan and the firm took a "hostile" stance and hampered the staff’s efforts to continue its investigation.

A final decision will be handed down on Aug. 4, unless it is appealed to the NASD’s National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) or called for review by the NAC. In the meantime, the NASD probe into the suspected short-selling scheme is continuing.

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