Former Pro Baseball Player Wins $1.7M FINRA Award
$1.7 Million Award to Former Pro Baseball Player
According to his attorney, Lloyd Schwed, Mr. Angel Pagan, former outfielder for the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants from 2006 to 2016, had a four-year $40-million contract with the Giants when he and his wife opened an account in Merrill Lynch’s Puerto Rico office, and claimed they lost about $2 million when the Puerto Rican Bond market collapsed in the fall of 2013.
In total, Mr. Pagan made investments worth $3.3 million in Puerto Rican Bonds and closed all deals. Alex J. Gierbolini, the broker who recommended the investments, sold most of the bonds to him when he was still working for UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS). According to Mr. Schwed, UBS has been hit with various arbitration claims over Puerto Rican bond sales.
According to Brokercheck, a source has it that Mr. Gierbolini relocated to Merrill Lynch, where he still works. He already has many customer disputes on his profile. Mr. Schwed said Mr. Gierbolini and Merrill failed to be mindful of all warnings in February 2013 about an imminent depreciation of the Puerto Rican bond and by so doing, Mr. Pagan and his wife were left overexposed in their Portfolio.
The Award for Puerto Bond Disaster
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) ordered Merrill Lynch to reimburse Mr. and Mrs. Pagan $1.7 million in compensatory damages and $88,758 in costs, subject to the Jan. 21 award document. It was also stated that Merrill is liable to pay 4.5% interest on the damages commencing from June 2017 through the award date.
The Pagans applied for punitive damages and recovery of attorney’s fee of $6 million but the arbitrators denied. Ever since Mr. Pagan retired from baseball, he and his wife, who was a former Miss Puerto Rico had lived on the island, according to Mr. Schwed.
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