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Richmond, Virginia

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Michael Phelan
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Merrill Lynch Rips Off Mentally Incompetent Philanthropist

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A Florida jury found that Merrill Lynch took advantage of New Jersey philanthropist George Rothman and his wife. Both Rothmans were declared mentally incompetent in 1999. According to a lawyer for the Rothman family, Merrill Lynch took advantage of the couple’s deteriorating mental condition to shift their money into investments that would pay higher commissions. The lawsuit alleged that a Merrill Lynch broker, Karen L. McKinley, falsely told Mr. Rothman in three letters that the investments carried no fees or commissions. Merrill Lynch allegedly made at least $2.5 million in fees on the Rothmans, while Ms. McKinley made about $600,000.00. Her family must be proud! The jury awarded the Rothman family $6 million and is considering punitive damages.