The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred former Merrill Lynch broker Elizabeth Marie Garcia for allegedly filing fake childcare expense reimbursement requests.
From January 2016 through January 2017, Garcia is accused of obtaining approximately $9,015 in reimbursements for childcare expenses that she did not incur, the regulator said.
In order to obtain reimbursement, FINRA claims that she intentionally misrepresented that she had paid a daycare facility for childcare services and fabricated receipts and other documents purporting to be from the facility. In one year, Garcia allegedly submitted 10 such reimbursement requests.
When asked about the reimbursement requests during an internal investigation, Garcia claimed that the childcare expenses were legitimate, FINRA said.
Garcia entered the securities industry in August 2014 when she became associated with Merrill Lynch in a non-registered capacity. While associated with the firm, she was also employed as a customer service sales specialist by a Merrill Lynch-affiliated bank.
In November 2016, Garcia became registered as a Series 7 general securities representative, and following the internal investigation into the alleged misconduct, voluntarily resigned three months later.
Garcia consented to the bar without admitting or denying the allegations.