Welcome to Financial Advisor IQ

Merrill Lynch Won’t Give Me My $160K, Says Broadway Actress Client

June 12, 2018

Wirehouse Merrill Lynch is facing a lawsuit from a Broadway actress accusing the firm of refusing to release $160,000 she says is owed to her, the New York Post reports.

Samantha Massell, who had a role in the 2015 run of “Fiddler in the Roof,” says the money had been deposited by Michael Rakosi, her biological father, in an account he told neither her nor her mother about, according to the paper which cites a lawsuit Massell filed in a Manhattan Supreme court against Merrill Lynch and her father.

Massell claims she found out about the funds only in 2016, after an accountant learned about them from the IRS, the Post writes. The wirehouse at first allegedly agreed to turn over the money to Massell but then said it needed Rakosi to approve the release, according to the paper. Rakosi, meanwhile, has been repeatedly refusing to sign the necessary papers, Massell claims, according to the Post. Massell says Merrill Lynch doesn’t need Rakosi’s signature because the account became legally hers once she turned 18, and that its requirement for the signature “is wrongful and contrary to governing law,” the paper writes, citing the court papers.


Merrill Lynch tells the Post that the dispute is a private matter and that it has conflicting instructions from Massell and Rakosi.

“We look forward to the court’s review and direction,” the wirehouse tells the paper in a statement. The Post couldn’t reach Rakosi for comment.

The case continues.

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