LPL Stockbroker Barred By Regulator For Selling Away

Joseph Alan Likens of Des Peres Missouri a stockbroker employed by LPL Financial LLC has been barred from being a stockbroker or an investment adviser representative in the State of Missouri according to a Consent Order issued by the State of Missouri Office of Secretary of State containing findings that Likens engaged in unethical and dishonest business practices during the time he was a stockbroker. In the Matter of Joseph Alan Likens Case No. AP-17-30 (Dec. 20, 2017).

The Order stated that twenty three Missouri residents had been offered and sold Chapiter LLC through Likens. Nearly all of the investors were over the age of sixty at the time that they were solicited by Likens, and they held accounts through Likens when he was associated with prior securities broker dealer employers including Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner Smith and Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC. The Order stated that the investments Likens sold when he worked for Merrill Lynch and LPL Financial had been prohibited from being sold by stockbrokers of those securities broker dealers. Merrill Lynch and LPL Financial were not notified by Likens in regard to his outside business activities and private securities transactions; he violated his employers’ policies.

The Order stated that investors were offered promissory notes or annuities guaranteeing some form of repayment to the customers in reference to their investments in Chapiter LLC. The Order noted that investors from Merrill Lynch liquidated portions of their accounts with the securities broker dealer to make their purchases in Chapiter LLC. Investors acted on Likens’ recommendations when effecting the withdrawals or transfers from their accounts. Missouri Commissioner of Securities concluded that Likens’ unpermitted transactions were violative of Section 409.4-412(d)(13).

Likens has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity founded on findings that he failed to cooperate in a FINRA investigation concerning accusations of his private securities transactions. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2015045108801 (Oct. 31, 2016). According to the AWC, Likens was asked by FINRA to provide recorded testimony concerning the allegations that he sold away from LPL Financial LLC. However, Likens declined FINRA’s request. FINRA found Likens’ conduct violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210.

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Likens is referenced in fifteen customer initiated investment related disputes containing accusations of his misconduct when he was employed by securities broker dealers including Merrill Lynch and LPL Financial. Specifically, on March 14, 2017, a customer filed an investment related complaint concerning Likens’ conduct where the customer requested more than $5,000.00 in damages based upon allegations that private securities had been solicited and sold by Likens when he was associated with LPL Financial; and false or misleading statements were made to the customer that pertained to the terms and conditions of those investments.

Likens is also referenced in a customer initiated investment related complaint which was settled for $24,400.00 in damages on May 30, 2017 based upon accusations of bad promissory note executed through Likens away from Merrill Lynch. On July 20, 2017, another customer initiated investment related complaint regarding Likens’ conduct was resolved for $103,575.74 in damages supported by allegations of Likens selling away from Merrill Lynch from June of 2012 and April of 2016 causing the customer to incur losses on a private investment. Also, Likens is the subject of a customer initiated investment related written complaint which was settled for $29,575.00 on September 29, 2017 based upon accusations that misrepresentations had been made to the customer with regard to unregistered securities transactions effected by Likens.

Likens was employed by Merrill Lynch between April 17, 2009 and January 9, 2015. He was registered with LPL Financial LLC between January 8, 2015 and May 26, 2015.