A former UBS strategist told a New York jury that the Swiss bank deprived him of millions of dollars in pay and pushed him into a long-lasting depression by firing him five years ago after he blew the whistle on efforts to influence his published research.
Bloomberg News reports that Trevor Murray, a former senior strategist for commercial mortgage-backed securities, sued the bank in August 2012, alleging he was fired that year after complaining to supervisors that he was being pressured to produce misleading reports that were favorable to the bank. He’s seeking back pay worth more than $3 million plus unspecified damages.
Murray, 46, accuses UBS of violating the whistle-blower protections enacted as part of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. While it’s rare for companies to face such claims in court, a jury in the same Manhattan courthouse just last month found that a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. wealth manager had been fired illegally and awarded her $1.13 million in damages before a judge threw out the decision, calling it flawed.
UBS’s lawyer, Gabrielle Levin, told jurors in federal district court in Manhattan that Murray was never a whistle-blower and that his termination was part of a broader reduction in staffing caused by the bank’s poor financial performance at the time. She said there was a “shocking” lack of evidence backing his claim.
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