updated 9/17/2010 7:45:54 AM ET 2010-09-17T11:45:54

ATLANTA, Sept. 16, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On September 16, 2010, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel awarded 100% of damages sought and assessed costs against Regions Financial Corp.'s (RF) brokerage unit, Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. for breach of legal duties owed a 73-year old client. The case is Gratwick v. Morgan Keegan & Company Inc., FINRA Case No. 10-00456. The funds found subject to the award included the RMK Advantage Income Fund (RMA), now the Helios Advantage Income Fund (HAV); and, the RMK Multi-Sector High Income Fund (RHY), Now Helios Multi-Sector High Income Fund (HMH).

Morgan Keegan was found liable on one or more of the Claimant's causes of action: misrepresentation and failure to disclose material facts that funds were not diversified; violation of fundamental investment restriction limiting residential mortgage investments to 25% of net assets; failure to adequately disclose extreme credit risk leverage; violation of NASD and NYSE Rules; breach of fiduciary duty; constructive fraud; breach of contract; common law fraud; negligence and breach of duty; negligent supervision; violation of federal securities laws; violation of Georgia Securities Act; violation of Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977; and respondeat superior.                                                         

Firm principal Jim Dunlap commented on the award saying, "The claim was made difficult in several ways, including the fact that the Claimant was well-educated and worked in the investment/insurance industry.  However, the arbitrator was obviously impressed with our case as he awarded everything we asked for -- 100% of our claims plus imposed forum costs on Morgan Keegan. Needless to say, my client was pleased with the result."

The Claimant's broker at Morgan Keegan, J. WILLIAM WYKER III, 123 LEE STREET, DECATUR, AL 35601, attempted to have his record expunged by claiming that -- aside of any wrongdoing Morgan Keegan & Co. may have committed  in the case -- that he was not responsible while allowing his 73-year senior investor client's account to become concentrated with more than 50% in Regions Morgan Keegan junk-rated funds which were filled with extremely risky bottom-tranche structured-products that eventually collapsed 90% in 2007-08. The arbitrator entirely rejected J. WILLIAM WYKER III's arguments and ultimately his expungement request. Morgan Keegan was represented by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC of Nashville, Tennessee.

James A. Dunlap Jr. & Associates LLC and affiliated attorneys have filed arbitration claims on behalf of other investors in the Regions Morgan Keegan Bond Funds. The arbitration claims involve losses in the Morgan Keegan High-Yield Funds which have recently changed names as follows:

Specific information about the Morgan Keegan fund claims can be reviewed at http://www.jamesdunlaplaw.com/cms.php?id=36 .

If you lost money in the Morgan Keegan Bond Funds, please contact James A. Dunlap Jr., Esquire, of James A. Dunlap Jr. & Associates LLC at 404-354-2363, for a free consultation. You may visit the firm's web site at http://www.jamesdunlaplaw.com.

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