$1.6M Verdict in Corporate Fraud Lawsuit

A jury in Texas awarded almost $1.6 million Friday to a man who claimed he was defrauded by a Merrill Lynch financial advisor.

According to Travis County Court documents, jurors determined David Fernea was defrauded by T. Christopher Bounds, a business owner and financial adviser in Merrill Lynch’s Austin office. The jury found Bounds guilty of violating securities laws, fraud, and theft in 2006 when he sold half-interests in telemarketing companies he owned.

Fernea accused Bounds of retaining ownership of the companies after the $480,000 sale and delivering fake stock certificates, while continuing to use the corporations’ income and assets for personal use. Fernea also claimed Bonds failed to disclose that Attorney General Greg Abbott had filed a 2005 lawsuit accusing the companies of deceptive trade practices.

Jurors awarded Fernea $1.2 million in exemplary damages and almost $400,000 in actual damages. Bonds was also ordered to pay almost $603,000 in Fernea’s legal bills.

If you are involved in a similar lawsuit, and would like to speak with an Orange County Business Attorney regarding your case, please contact the business law firm of Daily Aljian LLP by calling 949-861-2524.