Why Martin Erzinger’s victim doesn’t need his money

By Felix Salmon
December 22, 2010
Martin Erzinger, the Morgan Stanley broker who bought his way out of a felony charge?

" data-share-img="" data-share="twitter,facebook,linkedin,reddit,google" data-share-count="true">

Remember Martin Erzinger, the Morgan Stanley broker who bought his way out of a felony charge? He’s been sentenced now—a year’s probation, and 45 days of charity work. (Some people do that kind of thing voluntarily, and don’t consider it a punishment at all.) And Al Lewis has a magnificent column on the case, which uncovers an interesting twist: Erzinger’s victim, Steven Milo, is the son-in-law of Tom Marsico. Yes, that Tom Marsico, the one with $55 billion in assets under management.

Mutual fund magnate Tom Marsico was at the Vail Valley Medical Center on July 3, tending to his son-in-law, Dr. Steven Milo, who’d been hit by a black, 2010 Mercedes while bicycling…

Into the ER rolls Martin Erzinger, a wealth adviser who oversees more than $1 billion in accounts at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver.

Erzinger says hi to [Marsico's wife] Cydney.

“Marty and I have been acquaintances for some 20 years,” Marsico explained. “I said, ‘Geez, Marty, is there anything I can do for you? He said, ‘Oh, no, I’m just in for some preliminary tests.’”

Erzinger was in and out in 20 minutes, Marsico recounted: “He checked out just fine.” But Marsico’s mind raced. Black Mercedes? Erzinger? “I was putting two and two together and I thought, ‘Oh, God. No. This can’t be.”

The Marsico connection underlines why Milo was naturally more interested in justice than in money, and why it’s unconscionable that DA Mark Hurlbert would ever suggest—as he did, when he dropped the felony charges—that “justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it.”

Milo is going to suffer greatly for the rest of his life as a result of Erzinger’s actions, but Erzinger’s future income isn’t going to help him. Instead, Milo will have to life with the knowledge that his assailant, who left him to die on the side of the road, not only avoided jail, but even blamed “new-car smell” in his attempt to duck responsibility for his actions.

Erzinger should be in jail right now, rather than managing hundreds of millions of dollars of other people’s money. I hope his clients drop him—and that other Morgan Stanley clients, too, move their money elsewhere. Perhaps to Marsico Capital. I can’t see how anybody would want to park their money with a firm which continues to pay Martin Erzinger millions of dollars.

9 comments

Comments are closed.