Shakela Yashica Carter of Fort Lauderdale Florida a stockbroker formerly employed by Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner Smith Inc. has been barred from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity according to an Office of Hearing Officers Default Decision containing findings that Carter obstructed a FINRA investigation into accusations that she committed fraud. Department of Enforcement v. Shakela Carter Disciplinary Proceeding No. 20160492021-01 (July 2, 2018).

According to the Decision, on March 9, 2016, Merrill Lynch notified FINRA that Carter had been subject of an internal investigation for wrongful taking of property, fraud, outside business activities and violation of investment-based regulations, statues, rules and standards. The firm subsequently notified FINRA that the firm concluded that Carter took part in effecting a customer’s outside investment transaction and provided assistance to the customer in reference to a credit agreement.

The Decision stated that in June 2016, FINRA launched an investigation into Carter’s activities, following up on the allegations cited by Merrill Lynch regarding Carter’s termination. Apparently, on November 27, 2017, a letter was sent to Carter from FINRA to procure Carter’s testimony according to Rule 8210. Carter apparently responded on November 29, 2017, where she revealed that she was not going to testify because she had not planned to remain working in the securities industry.

FINRA sent another request for Carter’s testimony on December 14, 2017. Carter ultimately neglected to make an appearance before FINRA staff on November 27, 2017 and December 14, 2017 – the deadlines imposed in FINRA’s first two requests. The Decision stated that on December 20, 2017, a final letter was sent by FINRA to Carter calling on her to make an appearance before FINRA personnel on January 4, 2018. Carter evidently failed to respond.

The Decision stated that on January 31, 2018, a Complaint had been filed against Carter by FINRA; however, Carter never provided a response or answer. Carter was reportedly sent another Notice of Complaint which Carter neglected to act upon. Consequently, FINRA’s Office of Hearing Officers barred Carter from the securities industry.

Carter’s registration with Merrill Lynch ceased on February 9, 2016.

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