The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. barred on Friday a former Merrill Lynch broker for falsifying receipts to qualify for $4,910 in reimbursement for childcare expenses.
According to the Finra settlement, the broker, Terrance Hood, submitted falsified receipts from January 2015 to December 2016 to receive childcare reimbursements from Merrill Lynch that he was not qualified to receive.
Mr. Hood accepted the settlement without admitting to or denying Finra's findings.
Merrill Lynch fired Mr. Hood last April due to having submitted "inaccurate" childcare reimbursement forms, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
Mr. Hood was based in San Antonio, according to his BrokerCheck profile. He could not be reached for comment.
Merrill Lynch and the rest of the industry has been keeping a close watch on brokers' and financial advisers' expense accounts. For example, two years ago Merrill Lynch fired Sandy Galuppo, who had been with the firm since 1995 and reportedly had $1.4 billion in client assets, due to "conduct including improper submission of personal expenses for reimbursement, resulting in management's loss of confidence," according to Mr. Galuppo's BrokerCheck report.
Merrill Lynch offered eligible employees the benefit of receiving reimbursements for out-of-pocket childcare expenses paid directly to the childcare provider, according to Finra. For almost two years, Mr. Hood submitted two-dozen reimbursement requests totaling $4,910 that contained falsified signatures and payment invoices from a childcare provider in order to receive reimbursements, according to Finra. Because he "converted" or took funds from his firm he was not entitled to, he broke industry rules.