SEC charges financial adviser with ‘stealing’ over $5 million from client accounts

Linus Unah – Fourth Estate Contributor

Washington, D.C., United States (4E) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Friday charged an investment adviser representative with stealing about $5 million from client accounts.

The SEC said in a news release that Barry Connell initiated unauthorized wire transfers and issued checks to third parties to cover personal expenses.

The SEC alleged that Mr. Connell, 50, who worked in the New Jersey office of a major financial institution, conducted more than 100 unauthorized transactions by “using falsified authorization forms misrepresenting that he received verbal requests from the clients.”

Connell carried out his scheme by moving funds between certain client accounts from December 2015 to November 2016, according to the U.S. regulator said.

Connell allegedly used money from client accounts to rent a home in suburban Las Vegas and pay for a country club membership and private jet service.

“As alleged in our complaint, Connell stole funds from clients who entrusted him their finances, choosing to fund his own lavish lifestyle rather than fulfill the fiduciary duty he owed them,” Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York office, said in a statement.

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