Finra bars former Merrill rep accused of churning

Former Merrill Lynch broker Charles Ernest Kenahan has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. for failing to take part in an investigation into his conduct at the firm, which discharged him in July 2019.

At the time, Merrill Lynch gave as its explanation for Kenahan’s firing “customers’ allegations of unauthorized trading, unsuitable investment recommendations and excessive trading.”

In December 2020, the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation issued a permanent bar against Kenahan as a result of allegations of unauthorized trading, mismarked tickets, inappropriate ETFs, overcharges and excessive trading. New Hampshire also fined Merrill Lynch $2 million, with the wirehouse agreeing to pay $24.3 million back to clients as part of a settlement over Kenahan’s excessive trades, commissions and transaction

In 2019, Merrill Lynch paid a $40 million settlement to a customer who alleged Kenahan had churned his account.

Finra said that Kenahan initially cooperated with the regulator’s investigation of his sales practices, but then ceased doing so.

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