17 CFR § 227.503 - Disqualification provisions.

§ 227.503 Disqualification provisions.

(a) Disqualification events. No exemption under section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d(a)(6)) shall be available for a sale of securities if the issuer; any predecessor of the issuer; any affiliated issuer; any director, officer, general partner or managing member of the issuer; any beneficial owner of 20 percent or more of the issuer's outstanding voting equity securities, calculated on the basis of voting power; any promoter connected with the issuer in any capacity at the time of filing, any offer after filing, or such sale; any person that has been or will be paid (directly or indirectly) remuneration for solicitation of purchasers in connection with such sale of securities; or any general partner, director, officer or managing member of any such solicitor:

(1) Has been convicted, within 10 years before the filing of the offering statement or such sale (or five years, in the case of issuers, their predecessors and affiliated issuers), of any felony or misdemeanor:

(i) In connection with the purchase or sale of any security;

(ii) Involving the making of any false filing with the Commission; or

(iii) Arising out of the conduct of the business of an underwriter, broker, dealer, municipal securities dealer, investment adviser, funding portal or paid solicitor of purchasers of securities;

(2) Is subject to any order, judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, entered within five years before the filing of the information required by section 4A(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d-1(b)) or such sale that, at the time of such filing or sale, restrains or enjoins such person from engaging or continuing to engage in any conduct or practice:

(i) In connection with the purchase or sale of any security;

(ii) Involving the making of any false filing with the Commission; or

(iii) Arising out of the conduct of the business of an underwriter, broker, dealer, municipal securities dealer, investment adviser, funding portal or paid solicitor of purchasers of securities;

(3) Is subject to a final order of a State securities commission (or an agency or officer of a State performing like functions); a State authority that supervises or examines banks, savings associations or credit unions; a State insurance commission (or an agency or officer of a state performing like functions); an appropriate Federal banking agency; the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; or the National Credit Union Administration that:

(i) At the time of the filing of the information required by section 4A(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d-1(b)) or such sale, bars the person from:

(A) Association with an entity regulated by such commission, authority, agency or officer;

(B) Engaging in the business of securities, insurance or banking; or

(C) Engaging in savings association or credit union activities; or

(ii) Constitutes a final order based on a violation of any law or regulation that prohibits fraudulent, manipulative or deceptive conduct entered within ten years before such filing of the offering statement or such sale;

(iii) Instruction to paragraph (a)(3). Final order shall mean a written directive or declaratory statement issued by a Federal or State agency, described in this paragraph (a)(3), under applicable statutory authority that provides for notice and an opportunity for hearing, which constitutes a final disposition or action by that Federal or State agency.

(4) Is subject to an order of the Commission entered pursuant to section 15(b) or 15B(c) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78o(b) or 78o-4(c)) or section 203(e) or (f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-3(e) or (f)) that, at the time of the filing of the information required by section 4A(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d-1(b)) or such sale:

(i) Suspends or revokes such person's registration as a broker, dealer, municipal securities dealer, investment adviser or funding portal;

(ii) Places limitations on the activities, functions or operations of such person; or

(iii) Bars such person from being associated with any entity or from participating in the offering of any penny stock;

(5) Is subject to any order of the Commission entered within five years before the filing of the information required by section 4A(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d-1(b)) or such sale that, at the time of such filing or sale, orders the person to cease and desist from committing or causing a violation or future violation of:

(i) Any scienter-based anti-fraud provision of the Federal securities laws, including without limitation section 17(a)(1) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77q(a)(1)), section 10(b) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78j(b)) and 17 CFR 240.10b-5, section 15(c)(1) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78o(c)(1)) and section 206(1) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-6(1)) or any other rule or regulation thereunder; or

(ii) Section 5 of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77e);

(6) Is suspended or expelled from membership in, or suspended or barred from association with a member of, a registered national securities exchange or a registered national or affiliated securities association for any act or omission to act constituting conduct inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade;

(7) Has filed (as a registrant or issuer), or was or was named as an underwriter in, any registration statement or Regulation A (17 CFR 230.251 through 230.263) offering statement filed with the Commission that, within five years before the filing of the information required by section 4A(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d-1(b)) or such sale, was the subject of a refusal order, stop order, or order suspending the Regulation A exemption, or is, at the time of such filing or sale, the subject of an investigation or proceeding to determine whether a stop order or suspension order should be issued; or

(8) Is subject to a United States Postal Service false representation order entered within five years before the filing of the information required by section 4A(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d-1(b)) or such sale, or is, at the time of such filing or sale, subject to a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction with respect to conduct alleged by the United States Postal Service to constitute a scheme or device for obtaining money or property through the mail by means of false representations.

Instruction to paragraph (a): With respect to any beneficial owner of 20 percent or more of the issuer's outstanding voting equity securities, calculated on the basis of voting power, the issuer is required to determine whether a disqualifying event has occurred only as of the time of filing of the offering statement and not from the time of such sale.

(b) Transition, waivers, reasonable care exception. Paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply:

(1) With respect to any conviction, order, judgment, decree, suspension, expulsion or bar that occurred or was issued before May 16, 2016;

(2) Upon a showing of good cause and without prejudice to any other action by the Commission, if the Commission determines that it is not necessary under the circumstances that an exemption be denied;

(3) If, before the filing of the information required by section 4A(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d-1(b)) or such sale, the court or regulatory authority that entered the relevant order, judgment or decree advises in writing (whether contained in the relevant judgment, order or decree or separately to the Commission or its staff) that disqualification under paragraph (a) of this section should not arise as a consequence of such order, judgment or decree; or

(4) If the issuer establishes that it did not know and, in the exercise of reasonable care, could not have known that a disqualification existed under paragraph (a) of this section.

Instruction to paragraph (b)(4). An issuer will not be able to establish that it has exercised reasonable care unless it has made, in light of the circumstances, factual inquiry into whether any disqualifications exist. The nature and scope of the factual inquiry will vary based on the facts and circumstances concerning, among other things, the issuer and the other offering participants.

(c) Affiliated issuers. For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, events relating to any affiliated issuer that occurred before the affiliation arose will be not considered disqualifying if the affiliated entity is not:

(1) In control of the issuer; or

(2) Under common control with the issuer by a third party that was in control of the affiliated entity at the time of such events.

(d) Intermediaries. A person that is subject to a statutory disqualification as defined in section 3(a)(39) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(39)) may not act as, or be an associated person of, an intermediary in a transaction involving the offer or sale of securities in reliance on section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d(a)(6)) unless so permitted pursuant to Commission rule or order.

Instruction to paragraph (d). § 240.17f-2 of this chapter generally requires the fingerprinting of every person who is a partner, director, officer or employee of a broker, subject to certain exceptions.

[80 FR 71537, Nov. 16, 2015, as amended at 86 FR 3592, Jan. 14, 2021]

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