Ex-NBA Star Chris Bosh Prevails in Dispute with His Mother Over Morgan Stanley Accounts

11 Feb    Investing News

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered Morgan Stanely to hand over control of three accounts to Chris Bosh in a contentious dispute between the former pro basketball player and his mother over ownership of the funds, according to an arbitration award.

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The three arbitrators, however, denied claims from Bosh against the firm and one of its former brokers in California for $28 million in damages tied to allegations of mismanagement of the accounts and unsuitable recommendations, according to the award, which was finalized on Thursday.

The accounts, which had been under both Chris Bosh’s name and that of his mother, Freida Bosh, held around $7 million, according to Bosh’s lawyer, Philip M. Aidikoff with Aidikoff, Uhl &

Bakhtiari in Beverly Hills, California, who said they were pleased with the panel’s decision despite the denial of their damage claims.

“This was a family dispute,” Aidikoff said. “The goal was to get this money back under Chris’ control, and that happened.”

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the case. Neither Freida Bosh nor her lawyer, Joe B. Abbey in Dallas, could be reached for comment on the award or whether they will take the rare step of seeking to vacate the decision in court.

The panel denied her claims against Morgan Stanley, the firm, and the broker, Jeffrey David Wiseman, for breach of contract and emotional damages in their entirety, according to the award. She had initially sought more than $72.8 million in damages in her initial March 2017 complaint but later reduced her claim to $10.7 million in an amended complaint, according to the award.

The three panelists, however, also denied Wiseman’s request to expunge the case from his Central Registration Depository records.

Wiseman could not be reached for comment. Morgan Stanley discharged him in April 2015 for “allegations regarding password sharing and non-completion of firm mandated training,” and he has not registered with a new firm, according to his BrokerCheck record.

Aidikoff said that the accounts at issue represented three accounts that Bosh had set up at the start of his professional basketball career when he signed with the Toronto Raptors as a rookie in 2003. He listed his mother on the accounts “for estate planning purposes,” but issues arose when she sought access to the funds in the account, Aidikoff said.

“This was his money,” Aidikoff said. “These accounts should have been signed over to him quickly, and they weren’t, and that’s where the whole thing started.”

Bosh is making arrangements to move the three accounts out of Morgan Stanley to another firm, according to Aidikoff, who declined to identify the new firm.

In a separate case that was later consolidated with Freida’s claim, Chris Bosh, his wife and their related business entities in October 2017 accused Morgan Stanley of wrongfully refusing him access to the joint accounts after he requested they be frozen to prevent his mother from making withdrawals. He also said that the firm and Wiseman “engaged in an unsuitable pattern of purchasing and selling unit investment trusts” and also recommended “unnecessary” portfolio loan accounts, according to the award.

The panel did not provide a reason for their decision, as the parties did not request an explained award. Aidikoff admitted that the accounts were still profitable, despite the alleged mismanagement.

Chris Bosh’s complaint had also named True Capital Management, a registered investment advisory firm where he had transferred some of his assets after Wiseman left Morgan Stanley in 2015. He resolved those claims, which pertained to separate accounts, outside of arbitration in a confidential settlement, Aidikoff said. A spokesperson for True Capital did not return a request for comment.

Bosh retired in 2017 after playing for 13 seasons with the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors. He earned more than $20 million per season at his peak, according to a report.

In a March 2018 profile, Bosh said that one of his goals after leaving the NBA was to sort out his personal finances.

“I was 22 years old when I started,″ he told ESPN. “I didn’t know anything. People put stuff in front of me and I signed it, and then it came back and crucified me 10 years later. Now I spend hours looking through everything with a fine-tooth comb.”

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