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Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates Investigating Dennis Albert Mehringer for Suitability, Overconcentration into Risky Bonds

The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates is investigating FINRA broker Dennis Albert Mehringer Jr., formerly of Western International Securities in Pasadena, California, for over-concentration of client funds into distressed, speculative-yet-high yielding bonds, and related misconduct, including a 2018 OHO extended hearing panel decision that sought to bar Mehringer from the industry for unsuitable recommendations, excessive trading, and unauthorized transactions relative to mutual fund Class A shares, including misconduct effected in 401(k), pension, and other retirement accounts.

The 2018 FINRA OHO extended hearing panel decision (#2014041868001), which also proposed a $50,000 fine and $108,000 in disgorgment, and alleged that Mehringer engaged in unsuitable short-term mutual fund trading and switching without a reasonable basis, and that ex-Western International Securities stock broker Mehringer provided false information to his firm in an annual compliance questionnaire about an undisclosed customer dispute he settled away from the firm, is pending appeal to the National Adjudicatory Council.

According to the extended hearing panel decision, Mehringer demonstrated that "his true objective was to maximize commissions," and he exercised discretion without authority by executing unauthorized trades of Class A shares, evading supervision by failing to seek written permission from his customers as well as from the firm to exercise discretion.

For instance, FINRA found that Mehringer excessively purchased and sold Class A shares in one client's pension, 401(k), and company employee accounts, even after that client explicitly instructed Mehringer, in an e-mail, to "stop all activity." The Panel concluded that, Mehringer "routinely" traded without first obtaining authorization from his client.

Dennis Mehringer's FINRA BrokerCheck report (CRD #722569) lists a history of settled customer disputes alleging various instances of misconduct, from "excessive & improper commission charges in addition to unauthorized trading" (settled for $290,000) to "over concentration with inadequate put coverage" (settled for $81,000) to unsuitable recommendations and beyond. Product types range from promissory notes to corporate debt to mutual funds and equity listed common & preferred stock.

One complaint alleged that broker Mehringer breached his fiduciary duty, committed fraud and misrepresentation, negligence, and violated state and federal laws (and FINRA rules) and that this misconduct began when Mehringer was registered as a broker with his prior firm First Allied Securities, and continued during his subsequent association with Western International, both of Pasadena, CA.

Mehringer's broker comment in one settled dispute suggests a marked difference relative to the interpretation of what exactly a "suitable" investment is, as stockbroker Mehringer described the dispute as, "The investment was suitable for the customer." That dispute was resolved in 2017 in favor of the client for the full $62,250 in damages that had been requested.

If you have invested with ex-Western International Securities (Pasadena, CA) broker Dennis Albert Mehringer or with any registered representative or financial adviser who has recommended you invest in a speculative or risky product not suitable given your conservative- or moderate-risk tolerance preferences, or whose unauthorized and excessive trading, such as intra-day mutual fund Class A switches, or other improperly frequent transactions, have proven harmful to your investments or interests through excessive charges, commissions, fees, or losses to your investment portfolio, please call our experienced FINRA arbitration attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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