Mor­gan Stan­ley Ad­viser Al­leges He Was Fired for Hav­ing Ha­sidic Clients

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Hadassa Kala­ti­zadeh

AMor­gan Stan­ley fi nan­cial ad­viser has filed a fed­eral law­suit al­leg­ing that he was told to stop do­ing busi­ness with Ha­sidic Jewish clients, and fi ed and ha­rassed when he re­fused to do so. Michael Pel­le­grino worked for over four years with the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try giant, earn­ing recog­ni­tion in­clud­ing bonuses and awards, and was named “Mort­gage Cham­pion” in 2014 and 2015. As re­ported by Bloomberg BNA, Pel­le­grino al­leges that this all ended when the fi m’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of com­pli­ance no­ticed that Pel­le­grino’s “book of busi­ness” in­cluded many Ha­sidic clients. He was called into a meet­ing by Evan Boucher, where the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor in­ter­ro­gated him re­gard­ing his pro­fes­sional re­la­tion­ship with the Jewish com­mu­nity. He was told to “stop chas­ing and do­ing busi­ness with those Uni­corns,” as per Pel­le­grino’s law­suit.

As per the suit, the bank’s com­pli­ance depart­ment be­gan re­fus­ing to open new ac­counts by Pel­le­grino be­cause the clients were Ha­sidic Jews. Th y of­fered phony ex­cuses for deny­ing the ac­cess and when Pel­le­grino tried to push for ex­pla­na­tions he was “stonewalled”, he says.

Ad­di­tion­ally, his op­tions trad­ing port­fo­lio, which in­cluded some Ha­sidic clients, was shut down on the grounds that it was “un­sus­tain­able,” Pel­le­grino says. How­ever, his co-worker, who op­er­ated a sim­i­lar port­fo­lio and col­lab­o­rated on in­vest­ment strate­gies with Pel­le­grino was not made to shut down his port­fo­lio, al­leges to the com­plaint.

Mor­gan Stan­ley then ac­cused Pel­le­grino of work­ing with clients who were not al­lowed to do busi­ness with the bank and im­me­di­ately sus­pended him. He says, the com­pany even falsely re­ported him to fed­eral fin ncial reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties. Fur­ther, af­ter he was ter­mi­nated the re­tal­i­a­tion continued against him, as Mor­gan Stan­ley froze his ac­counts, ru­in­ing his credit and rep­u­ta­tion, ac­cord­ing to Pel­le­grino’s suit.

The law­suit was filed on Oc­to­ber 12th, against Mor­gan Stan­ley and Evan Boucher, in the U.S. District court for the South­ern District of New York, un­der fed­eral and NY state and city anti-bias laws.

Mor­gan Stan­ley then ac­cused Pel­le­grino of work­ing with clients who were not al­lowed to do busi­ness with the bank and im­me­di­ately sus­pended him.

A Mor­gan Stan­ley fi­nan­cial ad­viser has filed a fed­eral law­suit al­leg­ing that he was told to stop do­ing busi­ness with Ha­sidic Jewish clients, and fired and ha­rassed when he re­fused to do so. Michael Pel­le­grino worked for over four years with the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try giant, earn­ing recog­ni­tion in­clud­ing bonuses and awards, and was named “Mort­gage Cham­pion” in 2014 and 2015.

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