Former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisor Admits Stealing from Client Accounts
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2012|
NEWARK, NJ—A former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial advisor admitted today stealing from client accounts and using the stolen money for personal expenditures, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Victor Manuel Rivera, Jr., 47, of Clifton, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to an information charging him with wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From October 2008 to October 2010, Rivera worked as a financial advisor at a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney office in Paramus, N.J. He was responsible for providing private wealth management services to clients and advising and managing their investment accounts. During this period, Rivera admitted forging wire transfer requests in the names of clients and submitting them to his supervisors for approval. After submitting the forged requests, Rivera caused wires to be executed from his clients’ accounts to an account which he controlled in another person’s name. Rivera admitted to stealing more than $90,000 from at least two accounts. Rivera also admitted he used the stolen money for his personal expenses, including to pay the mortgage on his home in Clifton.
The charge to which Rivera pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain derived from the offense, or pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offense. Sentencing before Judge Martini is scheduled for June 27, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked Morgan Stanley’s Legal and Compliance Department, which worked closely with federal law enforcement during the course of the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gurbir S. Grewal and Seth Kosto of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Miles Feinstein Esq., Clifton