Car plague and bankster plague intersect

I have long tried to avoid any dealings with the various tentacles of Chase Morgan Stanley, figuring somehow or other I would be injured by them.  Apparently, at least in Colorado, some (or all?) of their staff are exempt from prosecution for assault.  Google finds only two reports, one from the UK Daily Mail , one from the Vail Daily, local to the event.

In case these links disappear, the first three sentences from the Daily Mail story give a pretty good summary.

A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardise his job, it has been revealed. Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, was set to face felony charges for running over a doctor who he hit from behind in his 2010 Mercedes Benz, and then speeding off. But now he will simply face two misdemeanour traffic charges from the July 3 incident in Eagle, Colorado.

And from the Daily Vail:

Erzinger, an Arrowhead homeowner, is a director in private wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver. His biography on Worth.com states that Erzinger is “dedicated to ultra high net worth individuals, their families and foundations.”

Erzinger manages more than $1 billion in assets. He would have to publicly disclose any felony charge within 30 days, according to North American Securities Dealers regulations.

The decision to drop felony charges was made by the local prosecutor, over the victim’s objections.  One infers from the articles that the Erzinger will pay some monetary restitution.

More details from the Daily Vail:

Erzinger drove all the way through Avon, the town’s roundabouts, under I-70 and stopped in the Pizza Hut parking lot where he called the Mercedes auto assistance service to report damage to his vehicle, and asked that his car be towed, records show. He did not ask for law enforcement assistance, according to court records.

Erzinger told police he was unaware he had hit Milo, court documents say….

Meanwhile another motorist, Steven Lay of Eagle, stopped to help Milo and called 911.

It appears that neither the perpetrator nor the victim is British, so it’s kind of curious why the Daily Mail covered this.  Or maybe more curious why only one paper in North America did.

ht Naked Capitalism

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2 Responses to “Car plague and bankster plague intersect”

  1. Bob Matter says:

    In this case dropping the felony charge to keep Defendant Erzinger working is Plaintiff Milo’s best bet. Milo has a multi-million dollar civil claim against Erzinger. Only by keeping Erzinger working at his high-powered banking job will Milo ever get to realize the full settlement value he is entitled to. It is doubtfull that Erzinger has more than $100,000 liability coverage on his auto policy.

  2. Administrator says:

    Bob Matter makes a valid point but it leads to two troubling conclusions:

    (1) Is it official now that you can avoid felony prosecution if you have a high enough income? And, suppose damages are found to total $20 million, and Erzinger has net worth of $20.1 million. Can we then go back to prosecuting him for felony, as it won’t prevent compensation to the victim?

    (2) There must be some reason why brokers are required to disclose felonies. Doesn’t the right of Erzinger’s clients to know this transcend the issue of how damages will be paid?

    I like to think that, if I were Erzinger’s client, news of his behavior would prompt me to sever ties with him. But, were I a “high net worth” individual, I might have a different perspective.

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