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Joe Varghese: Former Pruco Broker Barred; Unauthorized Trading Allegations

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former Howard Beach, New York broker Joe Varghese (CRD# 4197007) barred him after he failed to appear for testimony related to a FINRA investigation into allegations he participated in unauthorized trading. A former representative of Pruco Securities, Varghese was barred from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm.

According to a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (No. 2018057957601) dated January 2019, Joe Varghese was registered with Pruco Securities from June 2016 until March 2018, when he voluntarily resigned from the firm while under internal review connected to allegations he “submitted several annuity applications that were never funded” and received compensation to which he was not entitled. After Pruco Securities disclosed this to FINRA, the regulator initiated an investigation “into whether Varghese engaged in unauthorized trading.” It sent him a request on November 16, 2018 to appear for on-the-record testimony connected to the investigation. Instead of appearing for the requested testimony, however, Joe Varghese indicated to FINRA “in several telephone calls” that he would not appear and provide such on-the-record testimony “at any time,” according to the AWC Letter.

FINRA’s findings state that these actions constituted violation of two FINRA rules. One is Rule 8210, which provides that FINRA can require persons under its jurisdiction to appear and give testimony related to matters under its investigation, and that persons under its jurisdiction shall not fail to do such. The other is FINRA Rule 2010, which states that associated persons must observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, Joe Varghese was barred from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.

Joe Varghese is not currently registered as a broker or investment advisor. His employment history includes Pruco Securities in Howard Beach, New York and MML Investors Services in Syosset, New York. He currently holds no state licenses and has passed three securities industry qualification examinations.

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