An arbitration panel for the NASD says that Ameriprise’s Securities America must pay up to $9.3 million to three retired American Airlines pilots who are accusing a broker of spending their retirement savings on mutual funds that had high fees and trading costs. A spin off from American Express Co., Amerprise Financial offers clients financial planning and advice. Securities America is an Ameriprise Financial Inc. subsidiary.
In an NASD ruling, broker Robert P. Gormly, Jr. and Securities America are both being held liable for $2.4 million in lawyer’s fees and $3.9 million in damages. In addition, Securities America must also pay $3 million in punitive damages.
According to the American Airlines pilots, Gormly (who had been affiliated with Securities America in Texas) had initially purchased products from the American mutual funds group, liquidated the funds between 1998 and 2003, and then directed the pilots’ money into more aggressive Rydex funds that he traded on a nearly daily basis.