Morgan Stanley sued to recover more than $3.6 million it paid to defend a former broker who was imprisoned for his role in a kickback scheme.
The firm said in its complaint against ex-broker Darin DeMizio that he should repay legal costs because “he intentionally defrauded Morgan Stanley and concealed his fraud” while working at the New York-based brokerage.
Mr. DeMizio was convicted in 2009 of scheming to pay $1.7 million in kickbacks to his father and brother for virtually no work, according to the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. Mr. DeMizio, who joined Morgan Stanley in 1991, was sentenced to 38 months in prison and ordered to pay the firm $1.2 million in restitution.
Morgan Stanley has sued other ex-employees who it claims deceived the bank. In 2012, it filed a fraud suit against Joseph “Chip” Skowron, a former hedge fund manager sentenced to five years in prison for insider trading. In January, the bank said it would drop its suit after a judge ordered Mr. Skowron to repay $31 million in compensation.
In its complaint against Mr. DeMizio, Morgan Stanley cited evidence from his trial in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., that showed he'd hid his scheme from the bank.
That included testimony from an employee who worked for Mr. DeMizio that he not tell the firm's attorneys about the plot, his use of coded language and his request that trading records be destroyed, according to the complaint.
A federal appeals court in Manhattan this year upheld Mr. DeMizio's conspiracy conviction. David Spears, the lawyer who represented Mr. DeMizio in his criminal case, didn't immediately respond to a voice-mail message seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Mr. DeMizio is now in a “residential reentry” facility, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website.
The case is Morgan Stanley v. DeMizio, 14-cv-03764, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).