FINRA last week expelled a former sales assistant from the industry for allegedly filing phony expense reports.

Debra Ann Paton worked in the brokerage and wealth advisory unit of First Tennessee Bank in Johnson City, Tenn., and served as the sales assistant for two registered reps, a role that involved preparing and submitting travel and expense reports on their behalf. According to FINRA, Paton used her access to one of the broker's expense reports to submit falsified expense reports and receive money to which she was not entitled.

On 11 occasions between July 2012 and March 2015, she purportedly altered legitimate expense reports she had previously submitted on the rep's behalf by substituting in her own name and then submitted the altered reports—supported by copies of the broker's legitimate receipts—for reimbursement.

Paton finagled some $3,568 in ill-gotten reimbursements, which she allegedly used to pay for personal expenses, FINRA claimed.

Paton did not respond to an email sent to her via BrightScope Advisor Pages, an online directory for financial advisors. She could not otherwise be reached for comment.  In her settlement with FINRA, Paton neither admitted nor denied the charges but consented to an entry of FINRA's findings.

Paton worked for First Tennessee Brokerage from May 2010 to March 2015, when she was fired for submitting duplicate expense reports, according to her BrokerCheck report.

First Tennessee Bank did not return voice and email messages seeking comment.

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