UBS Group Ordered to Pay Former CMBS Strategist Turned Whistleblower $903K

A jury in Manhattan federal court found that UBS Group (UBS) owes ex-commercial mortgage-backed securities strategist Trevor Murray $903K after he turned whistleblower on the Swiss lender. Murray contends that he was fired after reporting that CMBS traders had tried to affect his research reports, which were supposed to be independent.

Murray claims that UBS CMBS bond trading head and managing director David MacNamara insisted on screening drafts of the strategist’s reports in advance, which violates firm policy. The former UBS strategist accused Kenneth Cohen, his former boss, of being the one to instigate the pre-clearance process and calling his reports “off message.”

Testifying about one instance, Murray spoke about how Cohen instructed him not to put down anything negative regarding the hotel sector since UBS was engaged in financing for a Miami Beach hotel. The ex-UBS strategist said that he disregarded Cohen’s alleged instructions and notified clients about his worries.

UBS denies Murray’s allegations.

Disputing Murray’s wrongful termination allegations, UBS contended that he was not a whistleblower but that he was let go because of restructuring at the bank. UBS pointed to a $2B loss involving a rogue trader in its London offices months before Murray’s employment was terminated.

Just last month, a jury found that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) illegally fired ex-wealth manager Jennifer Sharkey. She claims that this was retaliatory action after she told them she was planning to get rid of a client who she thought might be involved in money laundering and fraud. The client, a diamond seller, had about $14M at the bank.

Sharkey was awarded $563K for emotional damages and $563K for backpay. Not long after, however, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said that the verdict was “substantially flawed.” She told JPMorgan Chase and Sharkey to come up with a settlement or go to trial again.

Whistleblowers
Whistleblowers are entitled to certain protections under the law.

If you are an investor who lost money because a brokerage firm, investment adviser, or broker may have engaged in wrongful or illegal actions, you may have grounds for filing a securities fraud claim to recover your losses. Contact The SSEK Partners Group today.

UBS Whistleblower Prevails at Trial in SOX Whistleblower Case, The National Law Review, December 29, 2017

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US Appeals Court Revives JPMorgan Whistleblower’s Lawsuit, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, September 22, 2016

Woodbridge Group and Owner Accused of $1.2B Ponzi Scam that Targeted Over 8,400 Investors, Including Senior Investors, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 21, 2017