(Bloomberg) – Morgan Stanley and its board were accused of mismanaging the firm’s 401(k) retirement plan and costing its employees hundreds of millions of dollars by picking inappropriate and costly investments, some of which were managed for the firm’s own profit.

The firm breached its fiduciary duties to 60,000 current and former participants in a plan that manages $8 billion in assets, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in New York federal court.

[Image credit: Bloomberg]
[Image credit: Bloomberg]

Morgan Stanley sought “to benefit” itself and caused the plan’s participants “to suffer staggering losses of hundreds of millions of dollars,” lead plaintiff Robert Patterson alleged in the lawsuit. The firm “treated the plan as an opportunity to promote Morgan Stanley’s own mutual fund business and maximize profits.”

Patterson is identified in the complaint as a Morgan Stanley retirement plan member from January 2011 to April 2014. His suit, ostensibly filed on behalf of the plan, seeks class action status on behalf of all who were enrolled in it from March 2010 to February.

Mary Claire Delaney, a spokeswoman for the New York-based securities firm, declined to comment on Patterson’s claims.

The case is Patterson v. Morgan Stanley, 16-cv-6568, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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