Here’s a juicy story we totally missed last week: Morgan Stanley was ordered to pay more than $34 million to the estate of Home Shopping Network (that was its name back in the day, not HSN) founder Roy Speer.
The financial firm and several of its executives, who included Speer’s alleged one-time mistress, were accused of making unauthorized trades on his account, according to several media reports.
The charges were made by Speer’s widow Lynnda (yes, two “N”s), who got her big arbitration award from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Morgan Stanley has to fork over $32.8 million in compensation and interest and $1.55 million in other reimbursements as well as legal fees.
According to the Tampa Bay Times story on the case, Morgan Stanley financial advisor Ami Forte was the Speer’s former “goomah,” as we’d say in New Jersey and on “The Sopranos.” Forte and another Morgan Stanley exec, Terry McCoy, were guilty of “elder exploitation,” fraud, making authorized trades, and breach of fiduciary duty.
Speer passed away in 2012 when he was 80, and he was a rich guy. At one time he was worth more than $1 billion and was on Forbes 400 list of richest Americans.
Morgan Stanley and stock broker Forte handled Speer accounts ranging from $150 million to $200 million, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The paper said that there were more than 12,000 unauthorized trades on his account during the last five years of his life.
Lynnda was wed to Speer for 52 years.
The widow also has a suit pending in Florida against Forte over a condo in the Cayman Islands that was transferred to her.