Former Morgan Stanley broker Ami Forte responded to a Finra lawsuit charging her with churning by arguing that the suit reflects the industry’s longstanding discrimination against women.
On Thursday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. hit Ms. Forte with a suit alleging that in 2011 and 2012, she engaged in unsuitable trading in the account of a client who was on his deathbed, generating more than $9 million in commissions in less than a year.
The client is identified only as RS in Finra’s complaint. But in 2016, Ms. Forte was fired by Morgan Stanley after the widow of cable shopping pioneer Roy M. Speer, who co-founded the Home Shopping Network, sued Morgan Stanley for $400 million.
In March 2016, a Finra arbitration panel awarded more than $34 million to the estate of Mr. Speer for its claim against Morgan Stanley for churning Mr. Speer’s account.
In the press release, Ms. Forte also said the suit showed Finra was acting in the interests of Morgan Stanley.
As previously reported, Ms. Forte is suing Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination, gender discrimination and defamation.
She denied any wrongdoing involving Mr. Speer’s accounts. “I intend to fully defend myself against these baseless charges, and I denounce the motives behind them,” Ms. Forte said, according to the release. “It’s time for Finra to stop being Morgan Stanley’s lap dog. Finra is supposed to regulate Morgan Stanley, not do its bidding.”
A Finra spokesperson declined to comment, adding that litigation is pending.
A Morgan Stanley spokesperson, Christine Jockle, wrote in an email that “Finra’s enforcement