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Home > Blog > For Richer or Poorer: What Happens When Spouses “Steal” From Each Other’s Brokerage Account?

For Richer or Poorer: What Happens When Spouses “Steal” From Each Other’s Brokerage Account?

An arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages to an investor for his claim against Merrill Lynch. The investor was represented by Maddox Hargett & Caruso P.C.

The case itself involved one spouse stealing money from another spouse through a brokerage account. In this instance, the brokerage in question happened to be Merrill Lynch.

The issue, however, is not unusual, and gives a whole new meaning to the marriage vow lines of for “richer and poorer.” Every year, investors lose millions of dollars from stockbroker misconduct, investment firm negligence and securities fraud. In the past year, these kinds of cases have skyrocketed, with more investors filing claims for investment negligence, stockbroker incompetence and IRA theft.

If a spouse “steals” money from his or her spouse’s brokerage account, the brokerage can, in fact, be held liable and cited for investment broker negligence, as well as for other types of misconduct or fraud.

Investment broker negligence occurs when the conduct of broker falls below a standard that’s been established to protect investors against unreasonable risk of harm. The cause of action for stockbroker negligence is based upon duties owed by a broker to his or her clients and the breach of that duty. This includes the duty to exercise due diligence and care in connection with a client’s account.

Ultimately, stockbroker negligence can result in severe financial losses for an investor.

Victims of stockbroker negligence can include anyone: Individual investors, retirees, small businesses, corporations, pension funds, and institutional investors. For a free initial consultation regarding your securities claim, contact Mark Maddox at 800-505-5515. Or, fill out the contact form on this Web site to obtain candid legal advice.

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