Former LPL Financial broker, Joseph Alan Likens (Likens), recently settled allegations with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) following an enforcement action. The underlying basis of the investigation involved allegations Likens engaged in private securities transactions. As a consequence of Likens’ failure to cooperate with FINRA’s investigation, FINRA permanently barred him from the financial industry.
Likens (FINRA CRD No. 3084903) entered the financial industry in 1998 as general securities representative. From 2009 to 2015, Likens worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated. Thereafter, from January 2015 to May 2015, Likens worked for LPL Financial LLC (“LPL”). Likens was terminated from LPL in May 2015. Specifically, in Likens’ FINRA BrokerCheck report, a customer alleged Likens committed multiple securities law violations, including selling away from the firm, unsuitable investment recommendations and misrepresentation in November 2011. Likens is no longer associated with any FINRA-member.
FINRA’s Department of Enforcement initiated an investigation into Likens’ alleged misconduct. FINRA specifically investigated whether Likens engaged in private securities transactions. In connection with this investigation, FINRA sent Likens a request to provide on-the-record testimony pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210. According to FINRA, Likens failed to cooperate with the investigation.
Based upon the foregoing alleged misconduct, FINRA asserted Likens 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, Likens failed to provide information in response to FINRA’s request, thereby violating FINRA Rule 8210.
Lufrano Law, LLC is a national securities litigation firm and has experience representing investors who have investment disputes with brokers and broker-dealers. If you suffered investment damages with Likens while employed by LPL, you may be able to recover your losses through FINRA arbitration. Our firm only receives a fee if you recover money. Please contact one of our attorneys at (800) 627-2179 to schedule a free consultation or complete our free case evaluator.