Erez Law Investigates Claims Related to Barry Franklin Connell and Morgan Stanley for Fraud Charges

Erez Law is currently investigating Morgan Stanley financial advisor Barry Franklin Connell (CRD# 3070984) regarding fraud charges in which he is alleged to have misappropriated $5 million from his clients and have made more than 100 unauthorized transactions.

Connell was registered with Morgan Stanley in Ridgewood, New Jersey from 2009 to 2016 and with UBS Financial Services from 1998 to 2008. In December 2016, Morgan Stanley discharged Connell from employment at the brokerage firm.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Connell with stealing money from investors to settle a private lawsuit among other misuses. It is alleged that Connell misappropriated approximately $5 million from investment advisory clients within the same family to cover his personal experiences and fund his lavish lifestyle, which included a rental home in Nevada, a country club membership, and a private jet.

The SEC alleges that between December 2015 and November 2015, Connell made unauthorized cash transfers and third-party wire transfers to third-party payees to benefit his lavish lifestyle. It is alleged that Connell used blank checks and falsified authorization forms that represented that he received verbal request from his clients for those third-party wires, checks and journals in more than 100 unauthorized transactions.

“By virtue of the conduct alleged herein, Connell, directly or indirectly, singly or in concert, engaged in transactions, acts, practices and courses of business that constitute violations of Section 206(1) and Section 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940,” according to the SEC complaint.

The SEC seeks a judgment to permanently refrain Connell from future violations of the Advisers Act and orders Connell to pay back his ill-gotten gains and to pay prejudgment interest. This case is currently pending.

In January 2017, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suspended Connell as a broker after he failed to respond to FINRA request for information.

Connell has been the subject of three customer complaints, dating back to 2008, according to his CRD report:

  • December 2016. “Client alleges, inter alia, that investments purchased in her account were unsuitable. 2015.” The client seeks $161,549 in damages.
  • July 2012. “It is claimed that financial advisor allegedly executed trades without authorization in client’s accounts. No specific timeline provided.” The customer sought $700,000 in damages and the case was settled for $55,000.
  • November 2008. “Claimant alleges, inter alia, that from September 25, 2008 through January 15, 2009, the financial advisor failed to follow instructions to sell Wachovia stock in a timely manner.” The customer sought $29,274 in damages and the case was settled for $20,000.

Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Morgan Stanley may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Connell’s customers.

Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against Morgan Stanley financial advisor Barry Franklin Connell, who is alleged to make unauthorized transactions in customer accounts. If you were a client of Morgan Stanley financial advisor Barry Franklin Connell or another firm, and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies.

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