Merrill Lynch/Bank of America has been hit recently with several adverse rulings concerning deferred compensation that was wrongfulyl denied former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors. In some of the most egregious cases, Merrill Lynch/Bank of America was ordered to pay combined amounts in unpaid compensation, fines, and punitive damage awards up to $10 million! Last month, a FINRA arbitration panel ruled that:
Merrill Lynch directly and indirectly . . . intentionally, willfully and deliberately engaged in a systematic and systemic fraudulent scheme to deprive [its Financial Advisors] of their rights and benefits under its Deferred Compensation Programs (FACAAP, Growth Award and Wealthbuilder) as well as other benefits to avoid liability after the change in control in September, 2008.
Following that decision, the Wall Street Journal reported that Merrill Lynch/Bank of America is beginning to talk to the lawyers of over 1,000 former Advisors. The Advisors have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred compensation and deserve to be made whole. Lawyers in our firm are investigating potential claims on behalf of former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors. These former Advisors often left either because of the changes that occurred or in some cases were pressured or pushed out by the incoming management. In any case, they were wrongfully deprived of deferred compensation to which they were and may still be entitled. In these tough economic times, it is shameful that any hard working person must fight for what is rightfully due to them. Lawyers in our firm are ready to help those former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors win that fight. If you need additional information on this subject, contact Chad Stewart, a lawyer in our Consumer Fraud Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Chad.Stewart@beasleyallen.com.
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