SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
In the Matter ofthe Application of
JOSEPH J. VASTANO, JR.
For Review of Disciplinary Action Taken by
On August 19, 2004, we sustained disciplinary action by NASD against Joseph J. Vastano, Jr., who was formerly employed as an investment company and variable contracts products representative with L.M. Kohn & Company ("L.M. Kohn"), an NASD member firm.1 Vastano now requests reconsideration of the Commission's opinion.
We found that Vastano had engaged in private securities transactions without giving prior written notice to L.M. Kohn in violation of NASD Conduct Rules 3040 and 2110.2 We further sustained the sanctions imposed by NASD, suspending Vastano from association with any NASD member in any capacity for 18 months and fining him $62,000.3
Vastano alleges that our opinion erred in finding that he had engaged in private securities transactions without giving prior written notice to his employer. As he did initially, Vastano asserts that the Alliance Leasing Corp. sales that he effected were done with the express approval of his supervisor Michael Yoakum. Vastano restates the same contentions that he urged on us previously and does not offer any new arguments or factual assertions. He identifies no basis for altering our original determination.
In addition, Vastano now asserts that he is "practically destitute." The NASD Hearing Panel imposed a $62,000 fine on Vastano. Before the National Adjudicatory Council, Vastano mentioned that he had financial difficulties, but he did not claim that he was unable to pay a fine. He further did not raise this argument in his initial appeal to us.
In support of his assertion of inability to pay, Vastano now has submitted a two-sentence letter stating that his only asset is an automobile with a lien on it, that he is unemployed. and that he has incurred unspecified debts.4 Vastano has not submitted any financial documentation detailing his financial situation. We have previously held that a respondent carries the .burden of demonstrating an inability to pay.5 We conclude that Vastano has not satisfied his burden of demonstrating an inability to pay.6
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the motion for reconsideration filed by Joseph J. Vastano, Jr. be, and it hereby is, denied.
By the Commission.
Jonathan G. Katz
Conduct Rule 2110 requires that members and associated persons "observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade."
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