The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Friday sued a former Bank of America Merrill Lynch tech stock analyst who allegedly spent $21,000 at an “adult entertainment establishment” and charged it to his corporate credit card.
The analyst, Paramveer Singh, worked at Merrill Lynch from May 2014 to May 2019, and then changed his registration to a rebranded firm, BofA Securities, for the next five months, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
At the end of May 2019, while registered with BofA, Singh “converted and misused approximately $21,000 of BofA’s funds,” according to Finra’s complaint, and allegedly “charged personal expenses at an adult entertainment establishment to his BofA corporate credit card knowing that his firm had the financial responsibility to pay for these charges.”
“Singh’s use of the firm’s corporate card in this manner was not authorized or consistent with firm policy,” according to the complaint. “BofA paid the credit card company for these charges, and Singh never returned the funds to BofA. By converting and misusing” those funds, the broker violated Finra industry rules.
Singh later told Finra, both in writing and orally, that he did not make or authorize the May 2019 charges at the adult venue on his corporate credit card, according to the Finra complaint.
Regulators like Finra and large firms like Merrill Lynch are closely watching brokers’ and advisers’ expense report submissions.
Singh was “discharged,” meaning fired, by Merrill Lynch in September 2019 for “conduct involving the use of a corporate credit card inconsistent with firm policy,” according to BrokerCheck. He is not currently registered with a securities firm.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Singh was a vice president of equity research covering tech stocks at Merrill. He could not be reached to comment on the Finra lawsuit.
Matt Card, a spokesperson for Merrill Lynch, did not return a call to comment.
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