Liam Gerard O’Keeffe from Danbury, CT, a Stockbroker with Merrill Lynch, was permanently barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member firm in any capacity after consenting to findings that he failed to provide information and documentation requested by FINRA in the course of their investigation into allegations that O’Keeffe exercised discretion in a customer’s brokerage account prior to obtaining authorization and facilitated a loan away from his firm. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 20150451669-01 (Oct. 20, 2015).
According to the AWC, on March 27, 2015, Merrill Lynch had filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Termination (“Form U5”) with FINRA which disclosed that O’Keeffe was terminated. On October 1, 2015, while investigating the aforementioned allegations pursuant to Rule 8210, FINRA had requested that O’Keeffe provide information and documentation by October 8, 2015.
The AWC stated that O’Keeffe’s counsel eventually spoke with FINRA staff and stated that while O’Keeffe received FINRA’s requests, O’Keeffe would not be cooperating at any point. FINRA found that O’Keeffe’s refusal to cooperate was violative of Rules 8210 and 2010, leading to his permanent bar.
Firms and individuals, not surprisingly, are prohibited from unauthorized use of customer funds, borrowing of a customer’s securities or funds, forgery, non-disclosures or misstatements of material facts, and various deceptions and manipulations. Such conduct can also be found to violate criminal and other civil laws, and be subject to sanction from the federal and state government bodies.
FINRA Stockbrokers like O’Keeffe who do not cooperate with FINRA’s investigations often face a permanent bar from practicing in the securities industry as such lack of cooperation violates FINRA’s Rule 8210 – requiring that no member or person shall fail to provide information or testimony or permit an inspection and copying of books, records, or accounts pursuant to the rule. FINRA typically accompanies a Rule 8210 violation with a Rule 2010 violation when individuals, according to FINRA, do not appear to observe high standards for commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.
Public disclosure records via FINRA’s BrokerCheck reveal that O’Keeffe is subject to a customer dispute from March 25, 2015, where a customer is requesting $1,708,885.00 in damages after alleging unauthorized trading, unsuitable investment recommendations, misrepresentation, misappropriation and conversion of funds and failure to obtain proper account documents.
Guiliano Law Group
If you have been the victim of securities fraud and you have a complaint, you should consult with an attorney. The practice of Nicholas J. Guiliano, Esquire, and The Guiliano Law Group, P.C., is limited to the representation of investors in claims for fraud in connection with the sale of securities, the sale or recommendation of excessively risky or unsuitable securities, breach of fiduciary duty, and the failure to supervise. We accept representation on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost unless we make a recovery for you, and there is never any charge for a consultation or an evaluation of your claim. For more information contact us at (877) SEC-ATTY.