A former Bank of America research analyst “converted and misused” approximately $ 21,000 of the company’s funds by using his corporate credit card to pay for personal expenses at an “adult entertainment company,” the financial industry enforcement agency claims in filed a complaint Friday.
The charges were brought in an unspecified “adult location” on May 30, 2019, just 20 days after Paramveer Singh joined BofA Securities as a general securities agent and research analyst. This was announced by the industry self-regulatory organization in the complaint and requested a disciplinary hearing before a panel of the FINRA Office of Hearing Officers.
“Singh purposely charged the corporate credit card with personal expenses,” “knowing that his company had the financial responsibility to pay those charges,” claimed FINRA. According to FINRA, his use of the card was unauthorized or in line with company policies. BofA paid the credit card company for the fees and Singh never returned the money to the company.
Merrill Lynch declined to comment on Monday. In October 2019, however, the company filed a form U5 notice of termination stating that Singh was due to “[c]Conduct related to the use of a company credit card that does not comply with company policies. “
By converting and misusing the funds, Singh, who worked for the company’s research group, violated FINRA Rule 2010 and then the same Rule and 8210, by “giving FINRA staff in response to requests for FINRA Rule 8210 and during that time false information was provided in writing his testimony on file, “claimed FINRA.
Singh “falsely told FINRA staff in writing and orally that he had not brought or approved the charges,” the regulator said.
The former analyst also falsely denied, both verbally and in writing, that he made a call to the company’s credit card call center on May 30, 2019. During that time, Singh identified himself by name on a taped line, confirmed his email address and the card’s credit limit and why additional charges for his BofA corporate credit card were declined, ”claimed FINRA at the same place.
Possible sanctions by the FINRA panel against Singh could include a fine, suspension and / or removal of his FINRA registration through disqualification from the industry.
However, after 10 years in the industry, Singh is no longer registered as a broker according to his report on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.
In December 2019, after leaving Merrill Lynch, Singh was affiliated with another FINRA member firm, but on July 20, that firm filed a Form U5 stating that he had voluntarily terminated his association, according to FINRA, the did not mention this company in its complaint. Singh’s BrokerCheck report says he was with Oppenheimer & Co. from January to July this year after leaving BofA.
(Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch about a decade ago during the financial crisis. Last year, the bank removed the Merrill Lynch name from its investment banking, global, and capital markets operations and renamed the entity BofA Securities.)