Can I still work in corporate finance even though I received a misdemeanor for criminal possession of a forged instrument 3 years ago?

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Can I still work in corporate finance even though I received a misdemeanor for criminal possession of a forged instrument 3 years ago?

Basically what the question says. Three years ago I got arrested and convicted for criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. It was three years ago and I am about to have the charge expunged from my record. I would like to know if I can expect this charge to haunt me in my future career in corporate finance. I plan on working in a large corporation in their finance department and I know I am unable to work in the financial industry because of FINRA standards. So can I expect the same kind of restraint from corporate finance as I would with financial industry positions?

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As you note, FINRA standards will preclude you from working in the financial industry. Generally speaking, though, there is no law or rule that says that someone with a forgery misdemeanor cannot work in the finance department of a company (large or small). That said, should it come out that you have this misdemeanor--and an expungement does not mean the criminal action never happened; it merely expunges it from certain readily accessible records--you can expect to not be hired (or if already hired, possibly to be fired). That is because few companies (especially public ones, which need to consider investor confidence and need to disclose risk factors) will voluntarily employ someone who had been convicted of possession of a forged instrument in their finance or accounting departments; and while they are permitted to do so, they are certainly not required to. You may wish to consider some other field, one where your past conviction, if it comes to light, would not be so damaging to your career.


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