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Florida Arbitrators Award Treble Damages for Exploitation of the Elderly

A three-member panel of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) arbitrators has awarded treble damages against Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. based in St. Petersburg, Florida and two of its brokers.

According to the Award, Myrna Wechsler, individually and as the Personal Representative of Natalie Varonok, alleged that Raymond James and its brokers Jodi Isdith and Mitchell Holeve committed fraud, breached their fiduciary duties, exploited the elderly and violated the Florida Securities Act in connection with the investors’ joint account. The investors claimed that Isdith stole funds from their account for her own use.

The investors requested compensatory damages of $269,496, treble damages, interest and attorney’s fees.

The Award reflects that the arbitrators found Raymond James, Isdith and Holeve liable on the claim of exploitation of an elderly person in violation of Florida Statute section 825.103. The panel awarded the customers $800,000 in damages, including treble damages. The arbitrators denied the remaining claims.

As is typical with FINRA awards, no details of the wrongful conduct or the bases for the arbitrators’ decision were given.

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