Liju Varghese (also known as Joe Varghese) of Howard Beach New York a broker formerly registered with Pruco Securities has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Varghese failed to cooperate with FINRA personnel’s investigation of his possible unauthorized trading in customer accounts. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2018057957601 (Dec. 24, 2018).

According to the AWC, Pruco Securities LLC informed FINRA personnel on March 29, 2018, that Varghese had been terminated from the firm while Pruco was reviewing whether Varghese provided phony annuity applications to the firm. The AWC stated that FINRA launched an investigation into Varghese following his termination from Pruco.

The AWC stated that on November 16, 2018, Varghese was required under Rule 8210 to provide FINRA personnel recorded testimony in regard to the accusations of Varghese’s misconduct. However, Varghese corresponded with FINRA personnel on November 20, 2018, indicating that although he understood the nature of FINRA’s requests, he would not be cooperating with it at any point.

FINRA found that Varghese’s failure to testify in the investigation into his alleged misconduct constituted a violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210. Consequently, FINRA barred Varghese from the securities industry.

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