Morgan Stanley is pushing back in opposition to a defamation lawsuit submitted by one of its previous Miami-based mostly advisors who claimed the group carried out a ‘coup’ to steal his shoppers and wreck his name.

In court files submitted in South Florida on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley responded for the 1st time to the scenario brought from it in early February by Candido Viyella, an industry veteran who was fired by the firm in November 2020 in excess of undisclosed outside investments he held and was then later barred from the sector.

Viyella has alleged the organization fired him to just take over his shopper e-book ahead of his planned retirement in December 2020 and initiated a ‘smear campaign’ from him adhering to his dismissal.

He claims the wirehouse ‘set out to demolish [his] experienced reputation’ by sending his former clientele ‘false and defamatory’ letters and statements to prevent them from functioning with him and his sons in another potential, in accordance to the grievance he filed in February.

Morgan Stanley mentioned in the newest courtroom documents that the situation should really be argued in front of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) instead than before a choose.

The wirehouse argues that Viyella’s lawsuit ‘belongs in arbitration’ prior to a Finra panel as a range of concerns raised in the lawsuit are overseen by the business watchdog and due to the fact Viyella’s past employment contracts point out that concerns among him and the company will be resolved by means of arbitration.

‘While Morgan Stanley vigorously denies all the allegations in plaintiff’s amended grievance and looks forward to the possibility to prove his allegations are wholly with out benefit, this court docket is not the suitable forum for this dispute,’ it said, according to the court docket filings.

Morgan Stanley also statements that Viyella owes the agency $911,244 for loans he was granted all through his employment and which he has not but repaid, the court docket files mentioned.

A Morgan Stanley spokesperson declined to comment.

Arguments from both equally sides

David Goldin, a spokesperson for Viyella from community relations organization Goldin Alternatives, explained to Citywire in an emailed statement that his consumer was geared up to battle to have his case brought in entrance of a choose.

‘This make a difference is not issue to arbitration and so we will vigorously oppose any work to hide the situation in a proceeding absent from the community perspective. This matter ought to be determined by a jury given the facts involved listed here,’ Goldin said.

Nicola Gelormino, Viyella’s legal professional, declined to remark.

In the court docket files the wirehouse offered a quantity of arguments why Viyella’s situation must be resolved by a Finra panel fairly than a Miami choose.

Between them was that Viyella had previously filed promises in opposition to Morgan Stanley by Finra which protected his disputes with the company and, as this kind of, he experienced entered into a ‘Uniform Submission Agreement’, correctly agreeing to duke out problems with the wirehouse by means of Finra.

In his past Finra claim, Viyella stated he was wrongfully terminated by Morgan Stanley in November 2020 months right before his prepared retirement and that the company had also fired his sons Enrique and Daniel Viyella, who worked at Morgan Stanley at the time, to halt him from passing on his shopper e-book to a person of them.

Morgan Stanley has preserved that Viyella’s termination was the outcome of an outside the house expense he experienced in a Fort Lauderdale lodge which he experienced allegedly not disclosed to the company, according to filings in the defamation lawsuit.

Nonetheless, in the Finra case Viyella alleges that higher administration at Morgan Stanley experienced knowledge of his connection with the money-getting rid of investment in the hotel.

Viyella was subsequently barred from the financial marketplace in Might 2021 by a Finra panel for refusing to testify in the business watchdog’s investigation into his expense in the hotel.

David Weintraub, a Florida-based attorney instructed Citywire at the time, that Viyella declined to testify in the Finra case mainly because he’d currently agreed to retire from the wirehouse and the economic field in December 2020 and had recognized that he’d be passing his purchasers along to one of his two sons.

Yet another argument the wirehouse place ahead for transferring the circumstance to Finra arbitration was that when Viyella was hired in 2009 he signed a variety U4, proficiently registering him as an advisor with Finra by means of Morgan Stanley which also calls for him to arbitrate ‘any dispute, declare or controversy that may perhaps crop up amongst me and my firm’, according to the courtroom filing.

Morgan Stanley has questioned that the Miami decide in the defamation accommodate move the case to arbitration, continue to be its get executing so and award the team lawful expenses and expenses related to the case.