Fired California Financial Advisor Allegedly Bilked Pro Athletes of Millions
Darryl Matthew Cohen, a former top-producing Morgan Stanley Smith Barney registered representative of Southern California, faces a FINRA bar beginning February 16, 2022. This bar will come into effect unless he cooperates in the self-regulatory organization’s (SRO’s) probe into allegations that he improperly used customers’ money. A number of the clients who have stepped forward to complain are current and ex-professional athletes.
Morgan Stanley fired Darryl Cohen in March 2021 over allegedly engaging in undisclosed outside business activities and using an unapproved platform to communicate with clients inappropriately. He has nine customer disputes listed on BrokerCheck, with four of them still pending in which the damages sought total millions of dollars.
Please contact our broker misconduct attorneys if you suffered losses while working with Darryl Cohen. We represent high-net-worth investors pursuing damages from brokerage firms and their financial advisors.
Call Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) at (800) 259-9010 today.
Misrepresentations and Unsuitability Alleged by Broker Darryl Cohen Customers
Most of the Morgan Stanley clients of Darryl Cohen who are reporting losses are or were professional athletes, including ex-Atlanta Hawks forward Chandler Hawkins, whose career ended in 2020 following a car crash.
Hawkins, NBA player Courtney Lee, and related entities have filed a $5M FINRA arbitration claim against the broker-dealer. They contend that payments were made from their accounts between 2017 and 2019 without their approval.
Also, they are alleging that they were encouraged to take out a liquidity access line for life insurance policies that they hold no interest in. In another FINRA arbitration case, Ex-Major League baseball player Nyjer Morgan also is seeking damages from Morgan Stanley after working with Cohen.
Customer Disclosures Against the Ex-Morgan Stanley Broker are Still Pending
The disclosures found on Darryl Cohen’s BrokerCheck are still pending. Below are a few examples of the claims made against the broker:
- 10/2021: Claimants are requesting $2M in damages over allegedly unapproved payments and the recommendation of a liquidity access line for real estate and life insurance policies.
- 4/2021: Claimant is seeking $100K in damages. They’re alleging misrepresentations related to an outside business investment recommendation via a line of credit from the firm.
- 4/2021: These investors are claiming unsuitability involving both investments and a credit line. They are requesting $2.3M in damages.
- 1/2021: This FINRA arbitration claim is for $5M in damages. This appears to be the customer dispute involving Hawkins and Lee.
In 2021, Darryl Cohen was ranked #56 on Forbe’s list of best financial advisors in California. He was a Morgan Stanley managing director in 2019. The broker was part of the firm’s Global Sports and Entertainment Group, working with entertainers and athletes.
He and his father, Morgan Stanley broker Marc Cohen, managed $656 million in client assets, including accounts no smaller than $1M.
With 23 years in the industry, Cohen was a Morgan Stanley broker from 2015 to 2021. Before that, he was a Wells Fargo Advisors financial advisor for 12 years and a Merrill Lynch registered representative for six years.
Fighting For Pro Athletes and Other Wealthy Investors
Professional athletes may earn a lot of money, but many of them are unsophisticated investors who rely entirely on their financial advisors to manage their money correctly. Unfortunately, unscrupulous brokers out there may abuse that trust and have been known to defraud pro athletes of their hard-earned income and life savings.
SSEK Law Firm represents investors of all experience levels and income streams, going after the firms and financial advisors responsible for their losses. Call our California broker negligence lawyers at (619) 550-4847. Or, contact our securities law firm at (800) 259-9010 today.