GunnAllen Zombie Files $36 Million Lawsuit

September 6, 2013

GunnAllen Financial, Inc. is one of many carcasses that litter Wall Street -- a brokerage firm that crashed and burned amid allegations of misconduct and fraud by investors and regulators.  In keeping with the current popularity of vampires and zombies, GunnAllen joins the legion of the undead and unburied as the firm becomes embroiled in a FINRA arbitration.  

In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in April 2012, Claimant GunnAllen Financial, Inc. asserted causes of action including tortious interference with contract and with business relations; aiding/abetting breach of fiduciary duty; and unjust enrichment/conversion. The claims arose in connection with Respondent J.P. Turner's alleged raiding of 100% of the production of Claimant GunnAllen's 26 branch offices. Initially, Claimant sought at least $31,500,000.00 in compensatory damages; at least $4,500,000 in punitive damages; plus costs and fees. At the close of the hearing, Claimant reduced its compensatory damages to a range of between $785,000 to $1,800,000 and withdrew its punitive damages demand. In the Matter of the FINRA Arbitration Between GunnAllen Financial, Inc. by and through Soneet R. Kapila, Liquidating Agent, Claimant, vs. J. P. Turner & Company, L.L.C., Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 12-01441, August 30, 2013).

Respondent denied the allegations and asserted various affirmative defenses.

The FINRA Arbitration Panel denied Claimant's claims.

Bill Singer's Comment

Not much meat on these bleached bones - both in terms of the paucity of detail in the Decision and the fact that GunnAllen is, at best, among the walking dead.  I mean, geez, this geezer gave up the ghost in 2010, and, frankly, not under the best of circumstances. Some three years later, we witness an arbitration over some alleged raiding of that imploded former FINRA member firm. Ummm, okay but, you know, really? 

Still - ya gotta love ‘em for trying to sue for $31.5 million plus another $4.5 in punies. I sort of like the sound of $36 million in damages. Nice ring to it. Hopefully, the lawyers made a buck.  Of course, I'm wondering -- and I'll just put it out there for y'all -- how you file a case seeking $36 million in comps and punies but subsequently go all in for under $2 million. That's what -- just kiddin'?

By the way, what's the remedy for warding off further attacks by living-dead brokerage firms? Garlic? Crosses? Silver bullets? Stakes in the heart? A lock of hair from Mary Schapiro, Mary Jo White, or Richard Ketchum?