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March 23, 2011

FINRA Arbitration Panel Awards Retired American Airlines Pilot $2.7 Million in Damages

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Case No. 09-05641, arbitration panel awarded Andrew J. Michalak, a retired American Airlines pilot living in Easton, Maryland, $2.7 million in damages, attorney’s fees, and costs as a result of the mismanagement of his retirement savings. The arbitration award was entered against Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel, Inc., American Investors Company, and Sewell L. Frey, Sr., a financial advisor located in Easton, Maryland.

After a five day hearing, the FINRA Panel agreed with Mr. Michalak that his retirement savings should not have been concentrated in two non-publicly traded mortgage funds sponsored and managed by Dunham. The Dunham mortgage funds suspended investor redemptions in early 2009 which prevented Mr. Michalak from accessing his retirement savings.

Thomas C. Costello, Esq., the attorney who represented Mr. Michalak in the FINRA arbitration, stated “I am very pleased with the Panel’s decision. Mr. Michalak worked hard for his retirement savings and entrusted it to professionals for management. Those professionals failed to do their job by providing Mr. Michalak with irresponsible advice and misinformation about the Dunham mortgage funds. This Award will help right that wrong.”