The FINRA hearing panel found that "JTF and Belesis traded ahead of 14 JTF customers who tried to sell their positions in AWSR, and had profited while customers who had tried to sell AWSR stock had been unable to do so."
The panel also found that JTF and Belesis failed to keep and maintain records of at least 14 customer orders to sell AWSR received on Feb.
They state: ``On October 26 2000 it was announced that the UK company AWSR had been selected as the preferred bidder.
``While the ships are in MoD use AWSR must provide completely British officer and merchant seamen crews for the ships.
AWSR had originally intended to use foreign seamen while the ships were on commercial duty but it is thought the requirement to hand over the vessels in three days ruled this out.
The lucrative Royal Navy contract to build and maintain six ferries for the Ministry of Defence was grabbed from the Birkenhead yard by AWSR, a consortium that has strong Mersey-side links.
Neither the MoD nor AWSR, a consotrium fronted by Andrew Weir Group, will discuss details, but confidential documents from the MoD disclose that the stumbling block was initially due to major problems between the consortium and one of the yards they were to use, Harland & Wolff in Belfast.
It has also been suggested that crewing arrangements may be a cause of discord though AWSR has announced that they will employ British seafarers only, a move that dispelled disquiet about foreign seamen.