Ex-Merrill Lynch FA Barred Over Allegedly Faking Childcare Expenses
Self-regulator Finra has barred a former Merrill Lynch registered representative for allegedly filing bogus childcare reimbursement requests, the industry organization says.
From January 2016 through January 2017, Elizabeth Marie Garcia allegedly obtained around $9,015 through 10 reimbursement requests for childcare expenses that she did not incur, according to a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent published by Finra.
Garcia allegedly said she paid a daycare center for the services and then fabricated documents she claimed were from the facility, the regulator says.
She consented to the bar without admitting or denying Finra’s findings, according to the letter of consent.
Garcia had begun her securities industry career in August 2014 when she joined Merrill Lynch in a non-registered capacity, according to Finra. She also worked at a bank “affiliated” with Merrill Lynch as a customer service specialist, the regulator says.
She became registered as a Series 7 general securities representative three years later in November 2016, according to Finra. But she resigned voluntarily at the end of February 2018, following allegations of “inaccurate personal child care reimbursement request forms,” which didn’t involve Merrill Lynch clients or their accounts, the wirehouse said at the time, according to Garcia’s BrokerCheck record.
Her resignation followed the start of an internal investigation into the childcare reimbursement claims, according to Finra’s letter of consent. Garcia also resigned from the Bank on the same day, the regulator says.
Garcia also has a bankruptcy discharge on her record from September 2014, according to BrokerCheck.