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Karen Paek: El Segundo Financial Advisor Barred

A disciplinary action taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against former El Segundo, California broker Karen Paek (CRD# 5985441) barred her over allegations she fabricated variable annuity applications and forged customer signatures. A former representative of Pruco Securities, Paek 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. 2018057657501) dated August 2019, Karen Paek was registered with Pruco Securities when, between November 2016 and December 2017, she “created, signed, and submitted six variable annuity… applications, along with fictitious supporting documents,” for the purpose of meeting firm production requirements. FINRA’s findings state that she completed and submitted six such applications under the name of three former customers of her previous employer, two Pruco customers, and a prospective Pruco customer. She allegedly “forged the individuals’ signatures on all of the applications,” and none of the persons in question “were aware of or authorized the applications and the annuities were never funded.” FINRA’s findings go on to state that she “created fictitious third-party brokerage statements” and submitted these to “give the impression” that the annuities would receive funding from outside accounts. Her alleged “falsifications and forgeries” were identified by Pruco during the course of its review of variable annuity applications that had not received funding, according to FINRA, which states further that she received advance commissions of $23,000 in connection with the falsified applications. FINRA’s findings state that these activities, which caused her firm to maintain inaccurate books and records, constituted violations of FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010. As a result of the foregoing alleged conduct, she was barred from association with any FINRA member firm in any capacity.

Karen Paek’s disclosure records also list one employment separation: specifically, her February 2018 termination from Pruco Securities over allegations she created false annuity applications to which she electronically signed clients’ names.

Karen Paek is currently not registered as a broker or investment advisor. Her employment history includes Pruco Securities in El Segundo, California and First Investors Corporation in Monrovia, California. She currently holds zero state licenses and has passed four securities industry qualification examinations.

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