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Former Pruco Securities Broker, Alexis Cooke, Was Sanctioned By FINRA For Alleged Sales Practice Violations Relative To Annuities

Alexis Cooke (CRD#: 5598604) is a previously registered Broker who worked at Pruco Securities, LLC in Brooklyn, NY. Alexis Cooke entered the securities industry in 2009 and previously worked for NYLife Securities, LLC; Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC; J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC; and Chase Investment Services Corp.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in August 2021, FINRA sanctioned Alexis Cooke, barring her from all capacities indefinitely, beginning on August 13, 2021. The FINRA sanction states, “Without admitting or denying the findings, Cooke consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that she engaged in falsification, impersonation, and forgery with respect to two variable annuity applications involving two customers, and falsification with respect to two fixed annuity applications also involving those customers. The findings stated that this matter originated from Cooke’s member firm’s filing of a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) disclosing that she resigned during an internal investigation into allegations that she submitted insurance and annuity applications for customers without the customers’ full knowledge or consent for the purpose of meeting production requirements. The findings also stated that Cooke completed variable annuity applications and falsely represented them to the firm as authentic applications for transactions that the customers had authorized, when, in fact, they were submitted without each customer’s knowledge or consent. In addition, Cooke also completed and submitted two fixed annuity applications on behalf of the same two firm customers in that she falsely attested to meeting with them, witnessing their signatures, and reviewing their original driver’s license. Cooke received approximately $68,000 in advanced commissions for the applications, all of which was eventually recovered by the firm when the applications were not funded. The findings also included that Cooke created fake email addresses for the two firm customers that she used to electronically forge the customers’ signatures on the variable annuity applications. When the firm became suspicious as to why the applications remained unfunded, Cooke used the fake email addresses to impersonate the customers in correspondence with the firm, purportedly requesting to cancel the applications. At the time, Cooke was aware of the firm’s written supervisory procedures that prohibited registered representatives from signing customers’ names on applications and from impersonating customers. FINRA found that Cooke provided false and misleading information to FINRA during her on-the-record interview, initially denying creating the fake email addresses and using the email accounts to forge the customers’ signatures. Only after FINRA presented Cooke with evidence that an email sent from the fake customer address shared the same IP address as Cooke’s personal email did she admit in testimony to creating both fake email addresses. Cooke then admitted in testimony to electronically forging one of the customer’s signatures on one variable annuity application but denied forging the other customer’s signature. Audit trail data provided by the firm after Cooke’s interview reflected that the other variable annuity application was also accessed and signed using a fake email address Cooke created.”

For a copy of the FINRA sanction, click here.

In addition, Alexis Cooke has been the subject of one additional disclosure, including the following:

● June 2018–”Ms. Cooke resigned during an investigation, which alleged that her and other agents, at the direction of their recruiter, were submitting insurance and annuity applications for customers without the customers’ full knowledge or consent, as well as other related violations of company policies and procedures, for the purpose of meeting production requirements. Ms. Cooke confirmed that she submitted four annuity applications for customers she never met. The applications were later cancelled.” Alexis Cooke voluntarily resigned from NYLife Securities, LLC.

For a copy of Alexis Cooke’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

FINRA regulations require that a customer’s written authorization is required before a broker-dealer can carry out transactions in the customer’s account. In addition, the broker-dealer’s member firm needs to approve the broker-dealer’s authorization. These measures are intended to protect the customer. Discretionary trading allows the broker-dealer to unilaterally decide to buy or sell securities at any price and not have to check with the client first. Exercising discretion without authorization can be costly to investors, and broker-dealers and their member firms, too.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at (800) 931-8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

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