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Credit Claims For Boston Athletes: Legal Considerations For Financial Security – While Lauren Holliday helped the U.S. soccer team win the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she and her husband Jr. Holliday, N.B.A. The player visited the Southern California office of a securities broker who highly recommended smart long-term investing.
Experienced? The broker has been with blue-chip firms like Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch for two decades. Is it connected? He specializes in helping athletes in all sports, he says, with a list of 70 current and former clients.
Credit Claims For Boston Athletes: Legal Considerations For Financial Security
But instead of pursuing a “conservative to moderate investment strategy,” Holliday alleges broker Darryl M. Cohen funneled $2.3 million of their money to “dubious individuals and entities” — and now most of the money is gone.
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Other athletes said they had similar experiences. Chandler Parsons and Courtney Lee, who played in the N.B.A., said Cohen and Morgan Stanley misinvested $5 million and $2 million in their investments, respectively, and most of that money disappeared. So Parsons, Lee and Hollidays filed a claim against Morgan Stanley with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FINRA, a self-regulatory body that oversees brokerage firms.
In a statement provided to The New York Times through longtime securities attorney Phil Idikoff of Beverly Hills, Calif., Parsons is representing the athlete and another claimant in separate cases. Last year.
Joe Holiday with his daughter Tyler Jr. and wife Lauren in 2018.
The athletes’ case is months away from being resolved through a settlement or arbitration hearing Yet FINRA, the industry regulator, last week barred Cohen from the securities industry in a separate but dramatic move. By refusing to cooperate with FINRA’s own investigation into the “improper use of client funds,” FINRA said, Cohen “set off a serious potential misconduct investigation.”
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Morgan Stanley officials declined to comment. But in a regulatory filing, the firm said it terminated Cohen in March 2021 because the transactions disclosed by Morgan Stanley were not approved by Morgan Stanley.
When his cell phone reached, Cohen said, “I’ll be right back with you.” He did not respond to a follow-up message, and his attorney, Brandon S. Reiff, said he had no comment.
FINRA cases are generally confidential, and documents are not publicly available IDCoff declined to make its clients available for interviews for details on their cases, citing pending litigation. However, the athletes’ willingness to go public indicates their determination to ensure that this “doesn’t happen to anyone else” and to encourage other potential victims to come forward.
Lee said in a statement that he believed Morgan Stanley would put his interests first as it had for many years. He said I was wrong.
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Holliday, an active philanthropist, said: “We are all victims of exploitation like Daryl Cohen. We are disappointed that a company called Morgan Stanley would enable a person like Mr. Cohen to be in a position to allow him to withdraw money from our accounts. “
There is no shortage of stories of prominent athletes engaging in fraudulent or risky financial schemes An Ernst & Young report last year found that professional athletes reported nearly $600 million in fraud-related losses from 2004 to 2019.
But Parsons, Lee and Holley are different, Idikoff said, because they do what only ordinary investors do: They rely on a big-name brokerage to make low-risk, long-term decisions.
Jrue Holiday, 31, won an N.B.A title with the Milwaukee Bucks and an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. basketball team in Tokyo last year. He signed a four-year extension worth $134 million in April 2021 He met his wife, then Lauren Cheney, while they were at U.C.L.A., and his football career led to endorsement deals with Under Armor and Chobani.
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Parsons, 33, a sharpshooter whose best seasons came with the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, retired in January, two years after he was seriously injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. His last contract, signed in 2016, was a four-year, $94 million deal, and he was active in Los Angeles real estate.
Lee, 36, finally played for his eighth team, the Mavericks, after signing a four-year, $48 million contract with the Knicks in 2020. He suffered a serious calf injury in 2020, but played golf last summer at Thousand Oaks, Calif., with Parsons, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and others.
Athletes probably heard about Cohen through basketball circles, including former N.B.A. The player, who was an assistant coach, said Idikoff.
Cohen worked with his father, Mark Cohen, at the same Morgan Stanley branch in Westlake Village, Calif.
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Holiday first met San Cohen in mid-2015 For Parsons, it was late 2015, and for Lee, it was sometime in 2017, according to a statement to FINRA.
In mid-2020, a business consultant at Parsons Morgan Stanley noticed an oddity about the investment. After Parsons contacted Idikoff’s firm, prosecutors learned that Cohen and Morgan Stanley had sent checks and wire transfers from Parsons’ account to build a basketball court in Cohen’s backyard.
All athletes invested in life insurance policies based on fraudulent information provided by Cohen and used an accountant recommended by Cohen. But the accountant was actually an insurance salesman And the man who signed the athletes’ tax documents — the insurance salesman’s father — was a lawyer who had never met or spoken to the athletes, Idicoff said.
Cohen was the subject of several other allegations, according to regulatory records. In March 2021, Niger Morgan, an outfielder who played for four Major League Baseball teams, settled a $125,000 claim over improper use of a liquidity access line to fund an outside business entity.
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A former client of Cohen’s, a retired professional athlete, told The Times that Cohen won him over by word of mouth and later with a sales pitch over dinner that included laminated reports. But a year later, when the client noticed financial transactions that looked out of place — and lost thousands of dollars in the process — he panicked and told his agent to immediately find another broker.
“It’s painful and it doesn’t leave you,” said the athlete, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid a painful personal experience in the public eye.
David W. Chen reports on corporate, non-profit and government players with skin in the game. Before joining the sports desk, he spent more than 20 years at Metro as an investigative reporter and bureau chief at City Hall and in Trenton. More about David W. Chen
A version of this article appears in print in the New York edition, Section B, page 7: Athletes allege they were defrauded by Morgan Stanley financial broker. Reprint Today’s paper Membership I will stand up for our BPS children! I will stand up for our BPS kids! I will stand up for our BPS kids!
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Parents at Boston Public Schools were disappointed when some of them saw a short blurb, just two sentences long, buried at the bottom of newsletters this week saying they had decided to continue the current hiatus from athletics.
Sports give our children more than just a chance to exercise their bodies There are social, health and psychological benefits that allow our children to do well in life As a mother of student athletes (Go BLA Dragons and Eagles!) who benefited in many ways from their time on school teams, and as a public school teacher who knows that educating the whole child to be successful must include physical and social wellness. , I will fight for school play for our BPS children I know that participation on a school team, be it volleyball, cheer, soccer, or football, can change a young person’s life, foster a sense of motivation and inclusion, and bind a nearby school and neighborhood community together.
I believe we should do everything we can to get our Boston Public School sports back on track. Boston kids playing sports at Metco, private and parochial schools. Children from neighboring towns are still playing Many of our BPS students play sports in their neighborhood athletic organizations As long as we’re following CDC guidelines, I don’t think we should continue the hiatus that started during winter break. Boston Public School children need this outlet for their social and mental health, more than ever.
This needs to stop and I will fight for our students on the City Council It’s the right thing to do because we all are
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