Widow of Home Shopping Network co-founder seeks $170 million from Morgan Stanley

She wants more than $170 million from Morgan Stanley for management of accounts.
Published April 24 2015
Updated April 25 2015

The widow of Home Shopping Network co-founder Roy Speer is seeking more than $170 million from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, accusing the brokerage of such problems as "excessive trading" and "unjust enrichment."

Lynnda Speer is acting as the personal representative of her late husband's estate and making several claims about the way Morgan Stanley handled an account.

She is in arbitration proceedings against Morgan Stanley and its Palm Harbor financial advisers Ami Forte and Terry McCoy, according to an annual financial statement Morgan Stanley released in February.

Forte is a prominent financial adviser who in 2013 was named by Barron's as the top financial adviser in Florida and in 2010 was named as top female adviser in the nation.

According to a brief summary of the complaint in Morgan Stanley's financial statement, Lynnda Speer claims:

• Damages related to securities of $78 million.

• "Well-managed portfolio" damages of $55 million to $66 million.

• "Excess commissions and sales credit damages" of $37 million to $44 million.

That adds up to between $170 million and $188 million.

The arbitration proceedings through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, began in January and are expected to conclude in July, according to the Morgan Stanley financial statement.

FINRA's website lists a pending customer dispute against Forte, and another one against McCoy. But the person who made those complaints is not mentioned by name, unlike the Morgan Stanley financial report which specifically mentions Lynnda Speer and her late husband's estate.

McCoy referred a reporter to a spokesman who could not immediately be reached. Lynnda Speer and Forte could not be reached Friday.

Roy Speer died at the age of 80 in 2012.

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