Merrill Lynch Sued By A Los Angeles Charity For Elder Abuse


Top banking firm, Merrill Lynch, and one of its ex-brokers, both were sued by The Los Angeles Thoracic and Cardiovascular Foundation for swindling an elder client out of $2.4 million. The Los Angeles Thoracic and Cardiovascular Foundation stated in their suit that Merrill Lynch and its broker had fraudulently swindled the money that donors, John Earley and his wife Junita Earley, gave the foundation in their will.

The will of Mr. and Mrs. Earley was created in 1990 in which they stated that they wanted to leave their fortune to The Los Angeles Thoracic and Cardiovascular Foundation, making them their sole recipients. The suit further stated that in 2008, a James Schaedler of the Earleys’ Investment advisory board at the Bank of America Investment Services, an ancestral organization to Merrill Lynch, got personally involved with Juanita Earley. The personal relationship resulted in his appointing himself as her chauffeur. He was then able to convince her to grant him the authority to change her doctors, against her wishes. He ended up isolated her from friends and family, and eventually put her in a nursing home.

According to Merrill Lynch, the bank noted that Mr. John Schaedler was not working for their organization since 2010. A year before Mr. Schaedler left Merrill Lynch, he successfully got Mrs. Earley to alter the will in order to remove the foundation from the sum she and her husband appointed to them. This was done after a month when she was declared incompetent to make major decisions.

Mrs. Earley died in 2012 at the age of 96 and John Schaedler got the $2.4 million from her trust. Before her death, Mrs. Earley stated that she feared James Schaedler and was extremely stressed about the changes she had made to the documents while under pressure from John Schaedler.


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