Jaime Feldman and her husband James Boland have brought forth a lawsuit against their former employer, Morgan Stanley. Ms. Feldman and Mr. Boland are suing for wrongful termination, accusing the broker-dealer of fraudulent activity and violating securities rules. The lawsuit is for $20 million.
According to the pair’s FINRA reports, Ms. Feldman and Mr. Boland were fired in 2011 for failure to adhere to firm standards. However, the couple claims that Morgan Stanley’s accusations of poor quality work is just a cover for wrongful termination. The complaint reads,
This action arises out of defendant's termination of the employment of plaintiffs because of their objections to and complaints about fraudulent activity and violations of the securities laws at the Morgan Stanley branch office. Morgan Stanley terminated the employment of plaintiffs for their 'whistle-blowing' activities.
The plaintiffs accused the firm of:
- Having unlicensed trainees cold call large companies such as Pfizer and Verizon Communications Inc. and read from a misleading script
- Allowing brokers to change profiles about client risk
- Allowing advisors work from home, despite not having the appropriate supervision there
Ms. Feldman claims that she brought forth these concerns to her branch manager, David Turetzky. Upon hearing the allegations, Mr. Turetzky seemed unresponsive and dismissed Ms. Feldman, according to the complaint. A month later, it is reported, Ms. Feldman and Mr. Boland were terminated for allegedly not performing up to standards.
Christine Jockle, a spokesperson for Morgan Stanley, states that there is no merit to the plaintiffs’ claims. FINRA also looked into the allegations made against the firm in August of 2011. However, the complaint does not note any actions made by FINRA against Morgan Stanley.
This is not the first time that this branch of Morgan Stanley, on 52nd Street, was sued for wrongful termination in a whistleblower case. Clifford Jagodzinski sued the company for $1 million, arguing that Mr. Turetzky told him not to report supposed violations. Morgan Stanley denied the accusations and the case was settled for an unspecified amount.