A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered Merrill Lynch to pay $8.1 million in compensatory damages to a family corporation that claimed the firm had breached its fiduciary duty with its investments.

Staton Family Investments Ltd. first filed its claim against Merrill Lynch in December 2008, alleging the illegal seizure and theft of 1.26 million common shares of Duke Realty Corp. Staton Family Investments handles the wealth of Daniel Staton, who earned stock in Duke Realty while serving as its chairman and chief executive officer.

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