Ex-LPL FA Barred for Paying Taxes with Client Funds

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This article was originally published by FinancialAdvisorIQ.com

Watchdog Finra has barred a former LPL Financial advisor for using client money to pay her own taxes, according to a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent from the industry’s self-regulator.

From March 2017 to October 2017, Laura Ortega Shean made tax payments on six separate occasions by directing the Internal Revenue Service to debit an unidentified client’s brokerage account for her own benefit, Finra says. In all, Shean paid off around $124,000 in taxes with the client’s money, but the client has since been reimbursed in full by some of the payments to the IRS getting reversed and Shean making some reimbursements herself, according to the letter.

LPL discharged Shean in November 2017 after she admitted to using the client’s funds for personal use, according to her BrokerCheck profile.

Shean started in the industry in 1996 with Merrill Lynch and joined LPL in 1999, according to BrokerCheck. Following her discharge from LPL, Shean hasn’t registered with another firm. Prior to her discharge, the advisor had only one disclosure record — a customer dispute alleging that 401(k) plan transactions weren’t made as represented by Shean.

The complaint was closed due to no action after reimbursements of $32,503 were made to the 401(k) plan without settlement and no contributions from Shean, according to BrokerCheck.