WASHINGTON — Just before the release of a survey about elder financial abuse, an arbitration panel awarded $34 million in damages, including hearing costs, to the estate of Roy M. Speer, a co-founder of the Home Shopping Network.
The award is further proof that rich people are just as vulnerable to financial exploitation as anyone else. In fact, their immense wealth can make them even more susceptible.
The case involved the investment firm Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and two stockbrokers. Speer died in 2012. His wife Lynnda brought a claim against the company, arguing that her husband's estate and his foundation funds had been mismanaged.
The arbitration panel agreed and found that Morgan Stanley and the brokers were guilty of "unauthorized trading, churning, breach of fiduciary duty/constructive fraud, negligence, negligent supervision, ... and unjust enrichment."
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