The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has suspended former LPL Financial broker, Elias Moses Hakimian, for three months for reportedly borrowing $120,000 from a firm customer without approval, a violation of FINRA rules. In addition to the suspension, Hakimian was fined $5,000.
Hakimian was affiliated with LPL from October 2005 until May 2019. In June 2019, LPL filed a voluntary termination notice, disclosing an investigation into Hakimian’s “possible involvement with alleged sales practice violations, private securities transactions, and taking [a] loan from [a] customer.” According to his BrokerCheck profile, the customer alleged that he “engaged in churning..and invested funds in speculative ventures contrary to the customer’s objectives and risk tolerance, in addition to taking loans from customer.”
Hakimian was accused of borrowing $120,000 from a “close” friend and LPL customer in March 2011, FINRA said in a letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent.
Per a loan agreement signed by Hakimian, he agreed to pay 10 percent interest per year, with the note to be repaid within two years. The loan was later extended and restructured several times, and in 2019, it was fully repaid.
LPL’s policies prohibited its registered representatives from borrowing money from customers except in certain limited circumstances, none of which applied in this case, FINRA said. The firm also requires its brokers to receive approval before borrowing money from customers.
FINRA claims that Hakimian did not seek or receive approval from LPL to enter into the loan agreement, and in eight separate annual compliance questionnaires, he allegedly falsely represented that he had not borrowed money from another individual. LPL learned about the loan after the customer complained.
Hakimian does not have any relevant disciplinary history and signed the AWC letter without admitting or denying the allegations.