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Morgan Stanley ordered to pay damages in fraud suit

[JURIST] A Florida jury Monday ordered Morgan Stanley [corporate website] to pay $604 million in damages to billionaire investor Ronald Perelman after finding that he relied on the company when it advised him to sell his 82-percent stake in camping goods company Coleman for cash and stock in appliance company Sunbeam. An accounting fraud scandal [CNN report] that led to bankruptcy for the company made the shares worthless. The judge in the case had earlier ruled that Morgan Stanley knew about Sunbeam's weak financial position. Punitive damages may still be awarded, and Morgan Stanley is gearing up for an appeal [Reuters report; Morgan Stanley press release]. Reuters has more.

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