“Singh intentionally charged personal expenses”
It has been alleged that an Indian analyst who used to work for Bank of America (BofA) used his corporate credit card to pay for his personal expenses at an “adult entertainment establishment”.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Department of Enforcement filed a complaint on October 30, 2020.
It claimed that Paramveer Singh “converted and misused” approximately $21,000 of the firm’s funds.
The charges were made at an unspecified “adult venue” on May 30, 2019, just 20 days after Singh joined BofA Securities as a general securities representative and research analyst.
The industry self-regulating organisation are seeking a disciplinary hearing before a FINRA Office of Hearing Officers panel.
FINRA alleged that “Singh intentionally charged personal expenses” to the corporate credit card “knowing that his firm had the financial responsibility to pay for these charges”.
FINRA went on to say that his use of the card was not authorised or consistent with the firm’s policy, adding that BofA paid the credit card company for the charges and Singh never returned the funds to the firm.
Merrill Lynch was acquired by BofA around 10 years ago.
They declined to comment on the allegations, however, in October 2019, the firm filed a Form U5 termination notice, stating that Singh was discharged due to “[c]onduct involving the use of a corporate credit card inconsistent with firm policy.”
FINRA said that the Indian analyst worked for the firm’s research group.
The regulator added that by converting and misusing the funds, Singh violated FINRA Rule 2010 and he then violated that same rule and 8210 by “providing false information to FINRA staff in writing in response to FINRA Rule 8210 requests, and during his on-the-record testimony”.
Singh “falsely told FINRA staff, both in writing and orally, that he did not make or authorise” the charges.
FINRA claimed that Singh also “falsely denied, both in writing and orally, making a telephone call to the corporate credit card call centre on May 30, 2019, during which on a recorded line, Singh identified himself by name, confirmed his email address and the card’s credit limit, and inquired why additional charges on his BofA corporate credit card were declined” at the same venue.
If the allegations are found to be true, Singh potentially faces being fined, suspended and/or being stripped of his FINRA registration by being barred from the industry.
According to his report on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website, Singh is no longer registered as a broker after 10 years in the industry.
In December 2019, after leaving Merrill Lynch, Singh became associated with another FINRA member firm, however, on July 20, that firm filed a Form U5 disclosing he voluntarily terminated his association, according to FINRA.
The company was not named in the complaint but his BrokerCheck report says he was with Oppenheimer & Co. after leaving BofA.