Former Merrill Lynch Broker Blake King Barred for Failing to Cooperate with Investigation involving
Merrill Lynch financial advisor, Blake P. King (King), recently settled allegations with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) following an enforcement action. The underlying basis of the investigation involved allegations King engaged in unauthorized trading in client accounts. As a consequence of King’s failure to cooperate with FINRA’s investigation, FINRA permanently barred him from the financial industry.
King (FINRA CRD No. 6012392) entered the financial industry in 2011 and was registered as a general securities representative shortly thereafter. From 2011 to 2017, King worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“Merrill Lynch”). King was terminated in January 2017 on the basis of his unauthorized, discretionary trading; and he is no longer associated with any FINRA-member.
FINRA’s Department of Enforcement initiated an investigation into King’s alleged misconduct. FINRA specifically investigated whether King engaged in unauthorized trading in eight client accounts. FINRA sent King a request to provide documents and information pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210. According to FINRA, King failed to cooperate with the investigation.
Based upon the foregoing alleged misconduct, FINRA asserted King violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 8210. Specifically, FINRA Rule 8210 authorizes FINRA, in the course of its investigations, to require persons associated with a FINRA member to “provide information orally, in writing, or electronically . . . with respect to any matter involved in the investigation...” Here, King failed to provide information in response to FINRA’s request, thereby violating FINRA Rule 8210.
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