June 25, 2020
A Finra arbitration panel has denied one other retired Merrill Lynch dealer’s triple-damages declare for cash misplaced in his deferred compensation Merrill stock holdings because of alleged fraud that led to its monetary crisis-era sale to Bank of America.
Three arbitrators in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday dismissed the declare for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages submitted by Charles Ross, who retired as a managing director in 2000 after greater than 30 years with Merrill in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and southern Florida.
As in 16 different instances, the arbitrators dominated that Ross’s declare filed in 2018 missed Finra’s time-eligibility commonplace, which requires claims to be made inside six years of underlying “events and occurrences.”
The previous advisors, managers and executives claimed that Merrill misled them and different traders concerning the high quality of loans packaged into collateralized debt obligations and residential mortgage-backed securities that collapsed and compelled Merrill’s sale to Bank of America in 2009.
“Claimant is demonstrably a knowledgeable, experienced former Senior Executive” who held on after his retirement to choices and shares that bottomed at $7 a share in November 2008, and stored them after they transformed to BofA shares, arbitrators Brian M. Kane, John P. Cullen and Richard S. Zaifert wrote within the June 24 resolution.
In addition they wrote that he had loads of alternative to file his declare earlier as a result of quite a few articles about Merrill’s improper securitizations, unfastened underwriting requirements, and subprime loan dangers have been written earlier than 2008, an worker lawsuit was settled for $75 million in 2009, and a authorities settlement of virtually $17 billion was reached in 2014.
Michael Taaffe, one of many two legal professionals that has been shepherding the instances for the Merrill plaintiffs, stated he doesn’t plan to problem the ruling however famous that about 40 different instances proceed in arbitration after denial of Merrill’s motions to dismiss, together with six of the final seven thought of this yr, and that some others have settled. Merrill total has succeeded in totally or partly dismissing about 18 instances, he stated.
An arbitration panel final month denied the agency’s try and dismiss a declare by Jill Packard, a New Haven, Conn. dealer who retired six years in the past after spending her 32-year brokerage profession at Merrill, in response to her BrokerCheck historical past.
Taaffe, who’s with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Florida, additionally claimed that one of many arbitrators within the Ross case and one other who was not on the choice have dominated on Merrill’s behalf in half of the dismissals.
The Ross dismissal was a minimum of the fifth granted this yr. Others have concerned former Merrill retail brokerage head Lyle LaMothe, former divisional supervisor Brian Sepe, former department supervisor Thomas Hirsch and 20-year Merrill veteran Charles R. Carson.
Merrill spokesman Invoice Halldin, who has declined to touch upon the earlier stock-loss instances, didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the Ross resolution.