Were you the victim of former Western International Securities, Inc. broker Dennis Mehringer (CRD# 722569)? Mehringer was registered with Western International Securities, Inc. in Pasadena, California from 2009 to May 2018.
In October 2019, FINRA barred Mehringer after he consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to appear for on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA during the course of an examination involving possible unsuitable trading and other misconduct.
In December 2016, Mehringer was named a respondent in a FINRA complaint alleging that he made unsuitable recommendations that caused a customer to engage in excessively expensive short-term trading and intra-day switching of mutual fund Class A shares. Mehringer was fined $50,000, barred from association with any FINRA member in all capacities, ordered to disgorge $108,131.21, plus prejudgment interest, and ordered to pay costs of $6,568.43. The FINRA findings stated that Mehringer engaged in a pattern of buying and selling that involved many transactions in Class A shares. In fact, there were so many transactions in Class A shares that it would have been impossible for Mehringer’s customer to keep track of them. FINRA found that “Mehringer held the shares for short periods of time before selling them. That he frequently broke up the buy and sell transactions constitutes a pattern demonstrating that his true objective was to maximize commissions. The findings also stated that Mehringer exercised discretion without authority by executing unauthorized trades in Class A shares in the customer’s accounts. Mehringer evaded supervision by failing to obtain written permission from the customer and his member firm to exercise discretion before making trades in the accounts. The findings also included that Mehringer breached his fiduciary obligations by failing to organize and operate a charitable trust as a tax-exempt charity, and ensure that its funds were used for tax-exempt purposes and not primarily to benefit a client’s family. Because the entity was not in fact a charitable trust, the Hearing Panel declined to find violations as to the additional allegations that Mehringer breached his fiduciary obligations to the trust by commingling trust money with his own money when he invested in a property and investing trust funds recklessly in a nursing home. FINRA found that Mehringer made false and misleading statements to his firm about his use of trust funds, failed to disclose a customer complaint and his settlement with the customer, and falsely told his firm he had not settled a customer complaint.”
Mehringer has been the subject of 11 customer complaints between 2006 and 2019, three of which were closed without action, according to his CRD report:
May 2019. “Unsuitability; Misrepresentation & Fraud; Unauthorized Trading; Breach of Fiduciary Duty.” The customer is seeking $433,079 in damages and the case is currently pending. The complaint took place while Mehringer was registered with Western International Securities, Inc. and was regarding corporate debt, common and preferred stocks, and mutual funds.
November 2018. “Unsuitability; Breach of Fiduciary Duty.” The customer is seeking $1,761,558 in damages and the case is currently pending. The complaint took place while Mehringer was registered with Western International Securities, Inc. and was regarding common and preferred stocks and mutual funds.
May 2017. “Customer unhappy with performance of fixed income investment.” The customer sought $62,250 in damages and the case was settled for $62,250. The complaint took place while Mehringer was registered with Western International Securities, Inc. was regarding corporate debt.
March 2017. “Unsuitable recommendations.” The customer sought $231,688.55 in damages and the case was settled for $45,000. The complaint took place while Mehringer was registered with Western International Securities, Inc. and was regarding promissory notes.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Western International Securities, Inc. may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Mehringer’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.