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Rahalls sue over handling of trusts

Two members of the prominent Rahall family of St. Petersburg are locked in a dispute with a brokerage firm they said mishandled two family trusts.

The legal conflict came to light Friday when a lawyer for Farris E. and Jeffrey Rahall filed a motion in circuit court in Tampa to pull the 1992 case out of arbitration and into civil court.

Farris Rahall and his son Jeffrey are part of a powerful family with interests in broadcast, real estate, banking and politics. Until the late 1970s, the family owned a series of television and radio stations, including what is now WTSP-Ch. 10.

The lawsuits against Quick & Reilly Inc. involve two Rahall family trusts as well as Farris E. and Jeffrey Rahall.

Last year the trusts lodged a complaint with the National Association of Securities Dealers, alleging that Quick & Reilly, a discount brokerage, had made unauthorized and inappropriate stock transactions, causing the trusts to lose a combined $336,479, said William J. Schifino, a Tampa lawyer representing the two Rahalls.

Quick & Reilly filed a counterclaim, alleging that Jeffrey Rahall had authorized the transactions. But neither of the trusts were in Jeffrey Rahall's name, Schifino said, and Jeffrey and Farris Rahall deny giving such authorization.

Quick & Reilly officials could not be reached for comment late Friday. The Miami attorney representing Quick & Reilly was in court and unavailable.

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