(a)Grounds. The Board may censure any person practicing before the FCA or may deny, temporarily or permanently, the privilege of any person to practice before the FCA if such person is found by the Board, after notice of and opportunity for hearing in the matter:
(1) Not to possess the requisite qualifications to represent others;
(2) To be lacking in character or professional integrity;
(3) To have engaged in any dilatory, obstructionist, egregious, contemptuous, contumacious or other unethical or improper conduct before FCA; or
(4) To have willfully violated, or willfully aided and abetted the violation of, any provision of the laws administered by the FCA or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
(1) Any person who, after being licensed as a professional or expert by any competent authority, has been convicted by a Federal or State court of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, personal dishonesty or breach of trust, shall be suspended automatically from practicing before the FCA without a hearing.
(2) Any accountant, appraiser or licensed expert whose license to practice has been revoked in any State, possession, territory, Commonwealth or the District of Columbia, or who has been suspended or otherwise barred from practice before any Federal or State regulatory authority, shall be suspended automatically from practicing before the FCA without a hearing.
(3) Any attorney who has been suspended or disbarred by a court of the United States or in any State, possession, territory, Commonwealth or the District of Columbia, shall be suspended automatically from practicing before the FCA without a hearing.
(4) A conviction (including a judgment or order on a plea of nolo contendere), revocation, suspension or disbarment under paragraphs (b)(1), (2) and (3) of this section shall be deemed to have occurred when the convicting, revoking, suspending or disbarring agency or tribunal enters its judgment or order, regardless of whether an appeal is pending or could be taken.
(5) For purposes of this section, it shall be irrelevant that any attorney, accountant, appraiser or licensed expert who has been suspended, disbarred or otherwise disqualified from practice before a court, regulatory authority, or in a jurisdiction continues in professional good standing before other courts, regulatory authorities, or in other jurisdictions.
(1) The Board, with due regard to the public interest and without preliminary hearing, by order, may temporarily suspend any person from appearing or practicing before it who by name, has been:
(i) Permanently enjoined (whether by consent, default or summary judgment or after trial) by any court of competent jurisdiction or by the Board in a final administrative order, by reason of his or her misconduct in any action brought by the FCA based upon violations of, or aiding and abetting the violation of any provision of any law that is administered by the FCA or of any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder; or
(ii) Found by any court of competent jurisdiction (whether by consent, default, upon summary judgment or after hearing) or in any administrative proceeding in which the FCA is a complainant and he or she is a party, to have willfully committed, caused, aided or abetted a violation of any provision of any law that is administered by the FCA, or of any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder.
(2) An order of temporary suspension shall become effective when served by certified mail with a return receipt directed to the last known business or residential address of the person involved. No order of temporary suspension shall be entered by the Board pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section more than 3 months after the final judgment or order entered in a judicial or administrative proceeding described in paragraph (c)(1) (i) or (ii) of this section has become effective and all review or appeal procedures have been completed or are no longer available.
(3) Any person temporarily suspended from appearing and practicing before the FCA in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section may, within 30 days after service of the order of temporary suspension, petition the Board to lift such suspension. If no petition is received by the Board within 30 days, the suspension shall become permanent.
(4) Within 30 days after the filing of a petition in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the Board shall either lift the temporary suspension or set the matter down for hearing at a time and place to be designated by the Board, or both. After opportunity for hearing, the Board may censure the petitioner or may suspend the petitioner from appearing or practicing before the FCA temporarily or permanently. In any case in which the temporary suspension has not been lifted, the hearing and any other action taken pursuant to this paragraph shall be expedited by the Board in order to ensure the petitioner's right to address the allegations.
(5) In any hearing held on a petition filed in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section, a showing that the petitioner has been enjoined or has been found to have committed, caused, aided or abetted violations as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, without more, may be a basis for suspension or debarment; that showing having been made, the burden shall then be on the petitioner to show why the petitioner should not be censured or be temporarily or permanently suspended or debarred. A petitioner will not be permitted to contest any findings against the petitioner or any admissions made by the petitioner in the judicial or administrative proceedings upon which the proposed censure, suspension or debarment is based. A petitioner who has consented to the entry of a permanent injunction or order as described in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section, without admitting the facts set forth in the complaint, shall nevertheless be presumed for all purposes under this section to have been enjoined or ordered by reason of the misconduct alleged in the complaint.
Title 12 published on 2013-01-01
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