Regulator disciplines local securities representative

By Joe Tash

A woman who worked as a general securities representative with financial firms with offices in Solana Beach and Encinitas has been disciplined for submitting false expense claims to her employer.

The action against Karen Ann Mendez was taken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, a private, nonprofit agency authorized by Congress to regulate the securities industry.

Under the terms of the “letter of acceptance, waiver and consent” signed by Mendez and approved by FINRA on Jan. 10, Mendez will be barred from working for any FINRA member firm in any capacity.

According to FINRA’s web site, the organization regulates the activities of some 4,100 securities firms that employ some 635,800 brokers.

Mendez’ attorney, Robert C. Rosen of Los Angeles, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The letter signed by Mendez said that she entered the securities industry in 2002, and worked at the Solana Beach office of Wedbush Securities Inc. (WSI) from 2007 through 2012. In 2012, she joined Securities America Inc., which has an office in Encinitas.

“From in or about March 2008 to April 2012, while registered with WSI, Mendez misappropriated approximately $6,022.50 from WSI when she obtained reimbursement of business expenses by submitting falsified requests and supporting documentation. By submitting the false expense reports, Mendez induced WSI to pay fictitious expenses. Mendez failed to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principals of trade,” said the letter.