The rules have been revised to address comments from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee (JAPC). Subsection (2) is clarified to reference the license application form. This section is also revised to remove the requirement that a written statement from a custodian of records be “certified or sworn”. Paragraph (19)(c) is clarified to provide examples of what is meant by “safeguards” in a criminal justice system. Technical corrections are made to the history notes.
THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE IS:
69V-560.1021 Effect of Law Enforcement Records on Applications for Money Services Business Licensure.
(1) Definitions. For purposes of this rule:
(a) “Relevant persons” means each officer, director, responsible person, compliance officer, or controlling shareholder of the money services business applicant, and any other person who has a controlling interest in the money services business applicant as provided in Section 560.127, F.S. If the applicant is a natural person, he or she is the relevant person under this rule.
(b) “Trigger date” means the date on which an applicant was found guilty, or pled guilty, or pled nolo contendere to a crime.
(2) General Procedure Regarding Law Enforcement Records. At the time of submitting an Application for Licensure as a Money Services Business, Form OFR-560-01, which is incorporated by reference in Rule 69V-560.1012, F.A.C., the applicant shall disclose on the application form any pending criminal charges and all criminal matters in which a relevant person has pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or has been convicted or found guilty, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld, of any crime. In addition, the applicant shall supply the Office with required documentation for each relevant person, as specified in this rule, relating to: 1) all criminal matters in which the relevant person has pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or has been convicted or found guilty, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld, of a class “A”, “B”, or “C” crime as described in this rule, 2) any pending criminal charges for a relevant person relating to a class “A”, “B”, or “C” crime as described in this rule, or 3) shall supply evidence that such documentation cannot be obtained. Evidence that documentation cannot be obtained shall consist of a written statement on the letterhead of the agency that would be the custodian of the documents, signed by a representative of that agency, stating that they have no record of such matter, or that the record is lost or was damaged or destroyed, or otherwise stating why the document cannot be produced. The required documentation must be legible. Required documentation includes:
(a) A copy of the police arrest affidavit, arrest report or similar document.
(b) A certified copy of the charges.
(c) A certified copy of the plea, judgment, and sentence where applicable.
(d) A certified copy of an order of entry into pre-trial intervention, and the order of termination of pre-trial intervention showing dismissal of charges where applicable.
(e) A certified copy of an order of termination of probation or supervised release, if applicable.
(3) Effect of Failure to Fully Disclose Law Enforcement Record on Application.
(a) The omission of any part of a law enforcement record required to be disclosed pursuant to subsection (2) is a material misrepresentation or material misstatement on the application and the application shall be denied pursuant to Section 560.114(1)(k), Florida Statutes.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (3)(a), the Office shall not deny an application for failure to provide documentation listed in subsection (2) when the crime is not a class “A”, “B”, or “C” crime and the applicant has disclosed the crime on the application form.
(c) If the Office discovers the applicant’s failure to disclose after a license has been granted, the Office will suspend or revoke each license currently held by the applicant as follows:
1. Suspension for 12 months if, had the license application been accurate, the application would have been granted, based on the statutes and licensing rules applicable to the application at the time the Office issued the license, and the documentation in the applicant’s file at the time the Office issued the license.
2. Revocation if, had the license application been accurate, the application would have been denied, based on the statutes and licensing rules applicable to the application at the time the Office issued the license.
(4) Classification of Crimes.
(a) The Office makes a general classification of crimes into three classes: A, B and C, as listed in subsections (16), (17) and (18) of this rule.
(b) These classifications reflect the Office’s evaluation of various crimes in terms of moral turpitude and the seriousness of the crime as such factors relate to the prospective threat to public welfare typically posed by a person who would commit such a crime.
(c) The names or descriptions of crimes, as set out in the classification of crimes, are intended to serve only as generic names or descriptions of crimes and shall not be read as legal titles of crimes, or as limiting the included crimes to crimes bearing the exact name or description stated.
(d) A charge in the nature of attempt or intent to commit a crime, or conspiracy to commit a crime, is classified the same as the crime itself.
(5) Effect on Licensure of Commitment of Single Crime. The Office finds it necessary to implement the following standards for applicants with relevant persons whose law enforcement record includes a single crime, subject to the mitigating factors set forth elsewhere in this rule before licensure. All disqualifying periods referenced in this rule run from the trigger date.
(a) Class A Crime. The applicant will not be granted a license until 15 years have passed since the trigger date.
(b) Class B Crime. The applicant will not be granted a license until 7 years have passed since the trigger date.
(c) Class C Crime. The applicant will not be granted licensure until 5 years have passed since the trigger date.
(6) Relevant Persons With Multiple Crimes.
(a) The Office construes Section 560.114(1)(o), (p), and (q), Florida Statutes, to require that an applicant with relevant persons whose law enforcement record includes multiple class “A”, “B” or C crimes, or any combination thereof, wait longer than those whose law enforcement record includes only a single crime before becoming eligible for licensure in order to assure that such relevant person’s greater inability or unwillingness to abide by the law has been overcome. Therefore, the Office finds it necessary that a longer disqualifying period be utilized in such instances, before licensure can safely be granted. Accordingly, where the relevant person has been found guilty or pled guilty or pled nolo contendere to more than one crime, the Office shall add 5 years to the disqualifying period for each additional crime.
(b) The additional periods are added to the basic disqualifying period for the one most serious crime, and the combined total disqualifying period then runs from the trigger date of the most recent crime.
(c) Classification as “Single Crime” versus “Multiple Crimes.” For purposes of this rule, two (2) or more offenses are considered a single crime if they are triable in the same court and are based on the same act or transaction or on two (2) or more connected acts or transactions.
(7) Mitigating Factors.
(a) The disqualifying period for a crime or crimes shall be shortened upon proof of one or more of the following factors. Where more than one factor is present the applicant is entitled to add together all the applicable mitigation amounts and deduct that total from the usual disqualifying period, provided that an applicant shall not be permitted an aggregate mitigation of more than three (3) years for the following factors:
1. One year is deducted if the probation officer or prosecuting attorney in the most recent crime states in a signed writing that the probation officer or prosecuting attorney believes the applicant would pose no significant threat to public welfare if licensed as a money services business.
2. One year is deducted if restitution or settlement has been made for all crimes in which restitution or settlement was ordered by the court, and proof of such restitution or settlement is shown in official court documents or as verified in a signed writing by the prosecuting attorney or probation officer.
3. One year will be deducted if the applicant was under age 21 when the crime was committed and there is only one crime in the applicant’s law enforcement record.
4. One year is deducted if the applicant furnishes proof that the applicant was at the time of the crime addicted to drugs or suffering active alcoholism. The proof must be accompanied by a written letter from a properly licensed doctor, psychologist, or therapist licensed by a duly constituted state licensing body stating that the licensed person has examined or treated the applicant and that in his or her professional opinion the addiction or alcoholism is currently in remission and has been in remission for the previous 12 months. The professional opinion shall be dated within 45 days of the time of application.
5. Other Mitigating Factors. An applicant is permitted to submit any other evidence of facts that the applicant believes should decrease the disqualifying period before licensure is allowed and one additional year shall be deducted if the Office agrees the facts have a mitigating effect on the licensure decision.
(b) In no event shall the aggregate mitigation result in less than a seven (7) year disqualifying period where the underlying crime committed was a felony.
(c) The burden is upon the applicant to establish these mitigating factors. Where the mitigating factor relates to or requires evidence of government agency or court action, it must be proved by a certified true copy of the agency or court document.
(8) Circumstances Not Constituting Mitigation. The Office finds that no mitigating weight exists, and none will be given, for the following factors:
(a) Type of Plea. The Office draws no distinction among types of pleas, i.e., found guilty; pled guilty; pled nolo contendere.
(b) Collateral Attack on Criminal Proceedings. The Office will not allow or give any weight to an attempt to re-litigate, impeach, or collaterally attack judicial criminal proceedings or their results in which the applicant was found guilty or pled guilty or nolo contendere. Thus the Office will not hear or consider arguments such as: the criminal proceedings were unfair; the judge was biased; the witnesses or prosecutor lied or acted improperly; the defendant only pled guilty due to financial or mental stress; the defendant was temporarily insane at the time of the crime; or the defendant had ineffective counsel.
(c) The Office finds that subjective factors involving state of mind have no mitigating weight.
(9) Effect of Pending Appeal in Criminal Proceedings; Reversal on Appeal.
(a) The Office interprets the statutory grounds for denial of licensure as arising immediately upon a finding of guilt, or a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether an appeal is or is not allowed to be taken. The Office will not wait for the outcome of an appeal to deny licensure, unless a Florida court specifically stays the Office’s adverse action.
(b) If on appeal the conviction is reversed, the Office shall immediately drop the said crime as grounds for denial of license.
(10) Pre-Trial Intervention. The Office considers participation in a pre-trial intervention program to be a pending criminal enforcement action and will not grant licensure to any applicant with a relevant person who at time of application is participating in a pre-trial intervention program. The Office finds it necessary to the public welfare to wait until the pre-trial intervention is successfully completed before licensure may be considered.
(11) Effect of Sealing or Expunging of Criminal Record.
(a) An applicant is not required to disclose or acknowledge, and is permitted in fact to affirmatively deny, any arrest or criminal proceeding for a relevant person, the record of which has been legally and properly expunged or sealed by order of a court of competent jurisdiction prior to the time of application, and such denial or failure to disclose is not grounds for adverse action by the Office.
(b) Matters Sealed or Expunged Subsequent to Application. Occasionally a relevant person will have a matter sealed or expunged after the applicant submits an application, but before a licensing decision is made by the Office. In such situations the Office policy is as follows:
1. If the applicant’s relevant person properly revealed the matter on the application, and thereafter has the record sealed or expunged, the Office will not consider the matter in the application decision.
2. However, if the applicant’s relevant person did not reveal the matter on the application and the matter had not been sealed or expunged at the time of making the application, the Office will construe the failure to disclose the matter on the application as a material misrepresentation or material misstatement, and the application shall be denied pursuant to Section 560.114(1)(k), Florida Statutes.
(12) Effect of Restoration of Civil Rights.
(a) An applicant’s relevant person must disclose crimes even where civil rights have been restored.
(b) If a relevant person’s civil rights have been restored, the crimes will be evaluated in the application process consistent with Section 112.011 and Chapter 560, Florida Statutes, and the rules promulgated thereunder.
(c) The burden is upon the applicant to prove the restoration of their civil rights.
(13) Effect of Varying Terminology.
(a) With regard to the following six subparagraphs, the Office treats each phrase in a particular subparagraph as having the same effect as the other phrases in that same subparagraph:
1. Adjudicated guilty; convicted.
2. Found guilty; entered a finding of guilt.
3. Pled guilty; entered a plea of guilty; admitted guilt; admitted the charges.
4. Nolo contendere; no contest; did not contest; did not deny; no denial.
5. Adjudication of guilt withheld; adjudication withheld; no adjudication entered; entry of findings withheld; no official record to be entered; judgment withheld; judgment not entered.
6. Nolle prosse; nolle prosequi; charges withdrawn; charges dismissed; charges dropped.
(b) In all other instances the Office will look to the substantive meaning of the terminology used in the context in which it was used under the law of the jurisdiction where it was used.
(14) Imprisoned Persons and Community Supervision.
(a) Imprisonment. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this rule, the Office shall not license any applicant under Chapter 560, Florida Statutes, while any relevant person of the applicant is imprisoned or serving a sentence for any crime. Further, the Office shall not license any applicant with a relevant person who has been released from imprisonment until the later of the period otherwise set out in these rules or 5 years after the date of release. The Office finds it necessary that the person be released from imprisonment and thereafter demonstrate an ability to abide by the law by passage of at least 5 years on good behavior, before licensure can be granted without undue risk to the public welfare.
(b) Community Supervision. The Office shall not grant licensure to any person who at the time of application or at any time during the pendency of the application is serving term on community supervision for any felony crime involving fraud, dishonest dealing, moral turpitude, misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belonging to others; or any misdemeanor crime involving misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belonging to others. The Office shall not substantively consider an application until the applicant has successfully completed his or her probationary term.
(15) Effect of Disqualifying Periods. The disqualifying periods established in this rule do not give an applicant a right to licensure after any set period of time. Regardless of the expiration of any disqualifying period imposed by these rules, the burden to prove entitlement to licensure remains on the applicant.
(16) Class “A” Crimes include the following felonies involving financially related or white collar crime, or crimes involving violence, and the Office finds that such crimes involve an act of fraud, dishonest dealing, moral turpitude, misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belong to others regardless of adjudication. This list is representative only and shall not be construed to constitute a complete or exclusive list of all crimes that are Class “A” crimes. Crimes similar to the crimes on this list may also be considered Class “A” crimes, and no inference should be drawn from the absence of any crime from this list.
(a) Any type of fraud, including but not limited to Fraud, Postal Fraud, Wire Fraud, Securities Fraud, Welfare Fraud, Defrauding the Government, Credit Card Fraud, Defrauding an Innkeeper, Passing worthless check(s) with intent to defraud.
(c) Armed robbery.
(h) Grand theft.
(k) Breaking and entering.
(l) Identity Theft.
(m) Any type of forgery or uttering a forged instrument.
(n) Misuse of public office.
(p) Buying, receiving, concealing, possessing or otherwise dealing in stolen property.
(q) Treason against the United States, or a state, district, or territory thereof.
(r) Altering public documents.
(s) Witness tampering.
(t) Tax evasion.
(u) Impersonating or attempting to impersonate a law enforcement officer.
(v) Money laundering.
(w) Murder in all degrees.
(y) Sale, importation, or distribution of controlled substances (drugs); or possession for sale, importation or distribution.
(z) Aggravated Assault (e.g., as with a deadly weapon).
(aa) Aggravated Battery (e.g., as with a deadly weapon).
(cc) Sexually molesting any minor.
(dd) Sexual battery.
(ee) Battery of or threatening a law enforcement officer or public official in the performance of his/her duties.
(17) Class “B” Crimes include all felonies that involve any other act of fraud, dishonest dealing, moral turpitude, misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding of moneys belonging to others, regardless of adjudication, and are not Class “A” crimes.
(18) Class “C” Crimes include any misdemeanor that involves misappropriation, conversion, or unlawful withholding or moneys belonging to others, regardless of adjudication.
(19) Foreign Law Enforcement Records. If a law enforcement record includes convictions, charges, or arrests outside the United States, the Office shall consider the following factors to reduce, eliminate, or apply a disqualifying period:
(a) Whether the crime in the criminal record would be a crime under the laws of the United States or any state within the United States;
(b) The degree of penalty associated with the same or similar crimes in the United States; and
(c) The extent to which the foreign justice system provided safeguards similar to those provided criminal defendants under the Constitution of the United States; for example, the right of a defendant to a public trial, the right against self-incrimination, the right of notice of the charges, the right to confront witnesses, the right to call witnesses, and the right to counsel.
Specific Authority 560.105 FS. Law Implemented 112.011, 560.114, 560.1401, 560.141 FS. History–New_________.