Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is facing a lawsuit over its actions in connection with a family dispute over an inheritance, AdvisorHub reports.
The suit was filed last month in Texas state court by John Murgai as part of a legal battle over the assets of his father Sudarshan Murgai, who died in September 2020.
John Murgai alleges that his brother Alvin Murgai, a Merrill Lynch producing manager, took part in fraudulent conduct along with Alvin’s wife and sister. The defendants allegedly changed the beneficiary designations on Merrill Lynch accounts belonging to Sudarshan Murgai. Merrill Lynch was accused of allowing the misconduct to take place, in a breach of fiduciary duty.
According to the suit, Surdarshan was suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia and could not manage his own affairs. But less than a month before he died, Alvin Murgai allegedly arranged for a bank employee to notarize a power of attorney form that included Sudarshan’s signature which had been copied and pasted from another document.
The lawsuit goes on to say that Merrill Lynch officials accepted the notarized form, allowing Alvin to remove John as a beneficiary, obtain more of the funds for himself and his wife, and hide the changes from John, who ended up receiving none of the inheritance. John’s attorney alleged that Merrill Lynch did not review the document before allowing Alvin to change it. He added that there were several hundred thousand dollars in the father’s account, and the lawsuit is seeking damages of over $1 million.
Alvin and his wife did not return calls requesting comment, according to the report.
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