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Ex-Morgan Stanley FA Sues Wirehouse, Alleging Wrongful Termination

May 10, 2018

A former Morgan Stanley broker says the wirehouse fired him for refusing to push securities-backed loans he thought were unsuitable for older investors, AdvisorHub writes.

Benjamin Burton is also suing Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination and says the firm owes him back pay and damages, according to the industry news website. Last week, Burton agreed to move the suit to binding arbitration, according to court papers cited by AdvisorHub. Travis Griffith, his Charleston-based lawyer, tells the website Burton wants to litigate the case in public “so people could know the ramifications of what they are buying when they buy this product,” referring to the securities-backed loans.

But a spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley tells AdvisorHub in an email that Burton’s assertion that he was fired “for his refusal to promote a product or to engage in elder abuse is pure fiction.” Rather, the wirehouse fired Burton for a variety of infractions, including taking discretion of a 92-year-old client’s account without authorization and crediting revenues that were supposed to be shared with another advisor, the spokeswoman tells AdvisorHub.

Finra suspended Burton last September for three months and fined him $7,500 for executing at least 40 trades without authorization from the customer or the firm, according to Burton’s BrokerCheck history cited by the website.

(iStock Photos)

Burton allegedly received verbal but not written authorization, and made false statements on compliance reports, according to Finra, AdvisorHub writes. Burton, whom the website couldn’t reach for comment, currently works as a tax preparer and earns half what he earned as a broker, Griffith tells the website.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the AdvisorHub article cited in this story, click here.