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Melinda Gates divorce lawyer joins Connecticut lawmaker struggle with Morgan Stanley exec – Information by Automobilnews.eu

Melinda Gates divorce lawyer joins Connecticut lawmaker struggle with Morgan Stanley exec


Sen. Alex Bergstein

Supply: ALEX for State Senate | YouTube

An already contentious divorce case of a Connecticut state senator and her high Morgan Stanley government husband has gotten even hotter with the arrival of a high-powered new lawyer — who additionally represents Melinda Gates in her mega-billion-dollar bust-up with Microsoft founder Invoice Gates.

The brand new divorce legal professional, Robert Cohen, additionally repped former President Donald Trump’s first two wives, Ivana Trump and Marla Maples.

Cohen is now engaged on the newly expanded authorized crew of Sen. Alex Kasser, D-Greenwich, which this week fired off a authorized shot that threatens to attract different Morgan Stanley staff and the agency itself into the divorce case.

Kasser’s legal professionals requested a decide to permit them to query three Morgan Stanley staff below oath over what they recommend the funding financial institution’s latest improper efforts to get private monetary data from her whilst her estranged husband, Seth Bergstein, continues working there as senior managing director and head of world companies.

“Plaintiff [Kasser] is in possession of proof suggesting that Defendant [Bergstein] abused his authority at Morgan Stanley … vis-à-vis these subordinates,” says a brand new submitting that was written by Cohen’s legislation associate, John Farley.

“He additionally seems to have inspired MS staff to make use of false and coercive communications with the Plaintiff to induce her to reveal private monetary data to which he was not entitled, seemingly to achieve an improper benefit in ongoing contested divorce proceedings on this court docket,” the submitting says.

These staff, who labored in Morgan Stanley’s personal wealth administration and danger administration divisions, in late April gave Kasser “false data” about FINRA laws, court docket orders and Connecticut state legislation as a part of that effort, the submitting alleges.

The inquiry was associated to a joint account at Morgan Stanley that Kasser has shared for 20 years with Bergstein. Agency staff declare it had been “pink flagged” and barred from receiving Kasser’s tax refund verify “till we are able to affirm the account holder’s whole web price.”

Kasser’s legal professionals additionally recommend that Bergstein could have acted illegally in July 2016 by asking a notary public at Morgan Stanley to notarize an executed doc for him for one in all his trusts with out truly witnessing him or his brother signal that doc.

“Defendant seems consequently to have dedicated against the law by this realizing instruction to a subordinate to do an unlawful act,” Farley wrote within the submitting.

That request to the notary is documented in an electronic mail connected to a brand new court docket submitting in Stamford, Connecticut, Superior Courtroom, the place the divorce trial of Bergstein and Kasser is ready to kick off in August.

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Different emails submitted in court docket by Kasser’s legal professionals point out the shifting explanations Morgan Stanley staff gave her for his or her inquiries about her web price, and the dearth of direct solutions to questions Kasser posed to them about these inquiries.

A kind of emails, from Non-public Wealth Govt Director Howard Gofstein, advised Kasser that the question about her web price was based mostly on FINRA’s anti-money laundering and know-your-client laws. The message added that “we have to replace when know however no less than each three years.[sic]”

The court docket submitting by Farley says, “There may be additionally no regulatory requirement {that a} financial institution ‘replace … no less than each three years.'”

“The Courtroom also needs to remember that improper use of the securities legal guidelines can have severe regulatory penalties for monetary establishments and their staff,” Farley wrote.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley and Bergstein’s lawyer, Janet Battey, declined to remark to CNBC.

Kasser, who beforehand labored as a lawyer for the white-shoe agency of Skadden Arps, additionally declined to remark.

A bitter cut up

The brand new allegations have amped up what was from the start a bitter case filed greater than two years in the past, when Kasser cut up from Bergstein, with whom she has three youngsters.

She thereafter started a romantic relationship with one other lady — Nichola Samponaro — who additionally occurs to have been the marketing campaign supervisor of her 2018 race for the state Senate.

CNBC in 2019 detailed how court docket data confirmed that Bergstein, earlier than his spouse left him, recommended in 2018 that Samponaro be paid as a member of Kasser’s legislative workers with cash he was prepared to supply. Bergstein recommended that cash could be funneled via a non-public firm, which at one level was owned by Kasser’s mom, or via a shell firm, data present.

That cash was by no means paid by Bergstein, filings say.

Samponaro left Kasser’s make use of in her Senate workplace shortly after the senator took her seat when questions have been raised about Samponaro’s wage being paid immediately by Kasser.

Kasser has since modified her final title, which was once Bergstein, and continued her relationship with Samponaro.

Kasser additionally gained headlines for spearheading a invoice within the Connecticut legislature dubbed Jennifer’s Legislation, which seeks to broaden the authorized definition of home violence to incorporate the idea of “coercive management.”

Coercive management is outlined as a associate doing issues resembling withholding cash or participating in a threatening sample of habits to forestall the opposite associate from leaving the connection.

Kasser’s invoice handed the Senate with virtually unanimous assist on Tuesday.

Kasser eked out re-election to her seat by a margin of simply 0.8% final fall. Her district encompasses Greenwich and components of Stamford and New Canaan. Earlier than she first gained in 2018, that seat had not been held by a Democrat in almost 90 years.

Large-time background

In the meantime, Kasser’s divorce case has largely flown below the media’s radar for the previous two years.

However that might change with the latest, beforehand unreported arrival of the New York matrimonial legal professionals, Cohen and Farley, as new members of Kasser’s authorized crew. The group already included achieved Connecticut divorce litigators.

Along with the primary Mrs. Trumps, Cohen’s matrimonial purchasers have included former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, KKR & Co. co-founder Henry Kravis, supermodel Christie Brinkley. He at the moment represents Melinda Gates, who early this month collectively introduced her cut up from Invoice Gates after 27 years of marriage. Invoice Gates’ web price is estimated at north of $134 billion.

Central Islip, N.Y.: Christie Brinkley and legal professional Robert Cohen, after reaching a settlement within the divorce trial with Peter Prepare dinner, converse with the media throughout information convention on the courthouse in Central Islip, New York on July 10, 2008.

Alan Raia | Newsday LLC | Newsday | Getty Photos

Cohen declined to remark for this text.

However one other high-profile New York divorce lawyer recommended Kasser has made a great choice hiring Cohen.

“He is a incredible lawyer,” mentioned Marilyn Chinitz, whose personal movie star matrimonial clientele has included the actors Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas. “He is proficient, he is aggressive.”

Chinitz at the moment is concerned in 4 matrimonial instances wherein Cohen is representing the opposing social gathering.

“Having a case with Bob may be difficult, nevertheless it’s good to have a case with one who is aware of the legislation, and he is an efficient litigator,” Chinitz mentioned.

“He is inventive in methods to unravel a case.”

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Melinda Gates divorce lawyer joins Connecticut lawmaker struggle with Morgan Stanley exec – Information by Automobilnews.eu
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