A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered Morgan Stanley (MS) to pay two ex-athletes $819,300.
The former professional athletes, Keyon Dooling and John St. Clair, brought the case to FINRA after their now-barred advisor Aaron Parthemer recommended that both invest in Global Village Concerns, a sports clothing maker, and that Dooling also invest in Club Play, a Miami Beach nightclub. Both investments became worthless.
“These guys worked incredibly hard for their money, and it is gratifying that the arbitrators found Morgan Stanley liable for failing to properly supervise its financial advisor,” said attorney Curtis Carlson of Carlson & Associates in Miami, in a statement.
“Too often, professional athletes fall victim to financial mismanagement, and this is one of the few instances where an athlete has been able to recover his money,” Carlson stated.
Dooling played in the NBA for 12 seasons, starting in 2000, including time with teams in Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Memphis and Orlando. St. Clair was in the NFL for 11 seasons and played for the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears.
“We are disappointed in and disagree with the arbitrators’ decision in this case,” Morgan Stanley said in a statement. “The investments at issue had nothing to do with the firm, and the former FA failed to disclose his outside investment activities to Morgan Stanley.”
Parthemer was in the brokerage business for 20 years and worked for a number of firms, including Wells Fargo (2011-2015), Morgan Stanley (2009-2011), Citigroup (2006-2009), Bank of America (1998-2006) and Merrill Lynch (1995-1997), according to FINRA records.
There is another FINRA dispute involving the ex-rep in which clients are looking for relief from some $4.9 million in losses. Parthemer has declared bankruptcy, which means that Wells Fargo (WFC) and Morgan Stanley might be forced to cover the award should it be decided in the clients’ favor.
“I believe it is important, especially for professional athletes, to advocate for safeguards and protections that will hold institutions accountable for not faithfully representing our financial interests. I am satisfied with the ruling and hope the outcome serves as a lesson in fiscal stewardship for financial institutions,” explained Dooling in a statement.
St. Clair added, “My wife and I are relieved that the arbitrators ruled in favor of the athletes. There are many of us that have been taken advantage of by banks and financial advisors and never receive any restitution.”
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