ST. LOUIS (CN) – Judges in the 8th Circuit threw out a lawsuit accusing Merrill Lynch of aiding and abetting the fraudulent actions of a self-described trader who committed suicide after losing about 40 investors’ money by trading securities through a Merrill Lynch account.
The court held that investors failed to make their case under two theories of recovery: violation of the Arkansas Securities Act and common law fraud.
Investors claimed Merrill Lynch was liable for allowing David Howell to perpetrate fraud by letting him trade in an institutional account. Howell had promised investors high returns, but lost all their money and could no longer make monthly payments. Shortly thereafter, he took his own life.