Merrill Lynch, Charles Kenahan Under NH Investigation for $100+ Million Churning & Unauthorized Trading

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Merrill Lynch and broker Charles E Kenahan stand accused of churning, according to a New Hampshire Securities Regulation investigation into "certain trading practices."

Merrill Lynch terminated Charles Ernest Kenahan (CRD #1351974) in July 2019 over allegations of unauthorized trading, unsuitable investment recommendations, and excessive trading.

Two customer disputes settled for a combined $40.3 million alleged that Kenahan's unsuitable investment recommendations, excessive trading, and misrepresentation contributed to the tens of millions of dollars in damages.

CNBC identified the $40 million settlement as benefiting duped investor Robert Levine, as referenced by former New Hampshire governor Craig Benson: "Both Bob [Levine] and I caught Merrill Lynch with our wallets in their hands."

Benson also filed an arbitration claim against ex-Merill Lynch broker Dermond Cavanaugh (CRD #4030821), alleging a total of $100 million in market-adjusted damages.

Merrill Lynch contends that Benson was a "sophisticated investor who approved every trade." Benson claims he trusted Kenahan and Cavanaugh to manage his wealth: "If I wanted to day-trade my own account, I would've done it myself. I didn't need to pay $26 million to Merrill Lynch to do it."

Benson accused Kenahan and Cavanaugh of churning his account in order to generate increased commissions, which might help explain the $26 million figure.

An additional pending dispute from 2018 alleges Kenahan's unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and excessive trading produced damages of $42.2 million.

If you have invested with former Merrill Lynch brokers Charles Kenahan and Dermond Cavanaugh, or with any financial advisers or representatives who unsuitably recommended risky products or unwise investments including promissory notes, or whose excessive trading, or unauthorized churning has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.