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Merrill Lynch and Advisor Sued by Ex-NBA Star

May 11, 2018

Former NBA star Kwame Brown is suing Merrill Lynch, its parent company Bank of America and financial advisor Michelle Marquez, claiming they stole $17.4 million from him, according to celebrity news website the Blast.

Brown claims in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles that the wirehouse and Marquez were tasked with collecting his income and investing it with his consent. But Marquez allegedly invested Brown’s money into several projects and stocks without his authorization, according to court documents cited by the celebrity news website. In addition, Brown alleges Marquez opened several bank accounts without him knowing and didn’t give him access to them, and that the advisor used the accounts to invest his money and collect commissions, the Blast writes.

Brown also says he borrowed $1.1 million in 2006 and told Marquez to pay it off immediately, only to learn in 2015 that Marquez never paid off the loan and used the unpaid portion of it to open a line of credit, according to the website.

In 2017 Brown was told by a Merrill Lynch employee that he had no more money with the company, Brown claims, according to the Blast. The former NBA player also says that a forensics expert he hired determined that the signatures authorizing Marquez and Merrill Lynch to invest and trade his money were in fact forged, the website writes.

Brown claims he was a client of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America from 2004 to 2017, according to the Blast. He’s seeking the return of $17 million and further damages, the website writes. Marquez did not respond to the Blast’s request for comment.

Brown was in the NBA from 2001 to 2013 and earned around $64 million during that time, according to Basketball Reference data cited by the Blast.


Marquez has been in the industry since 1997 and with Banc of America from 2002 to 2009, according to her BrokerCheck record.

Banc of America was merged with Merrill Lynch when it was acquired by Bank of America in 2008. Marquez has been registered with Merrill Lynch since 2009, according to her BrokerCheck profile. She has only one customer dispute, a 2003 allegation that a client was misinformed about certain mutual fund investments. The dispute was closed with no action, according to BrokerCheck.

Brown was drafted to the Washington Wizards in 2001 as the first overall pick. He has also played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Bobcats and the Philadelphia 76ers.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Blast article cited in this story, click here.