Financial advisor stole $5M from family, feds say

NEW YORK -- A Morris County man was arrested by federal agents Friday morning in connection with allegations he stole more than $5 million from clients of his wealth management practice.

Barry Connell, of Chester, was expected to appear Friday afternoon in Manhattan federal court on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Federal prosecutors said Connell, 50, had been arrested that morning in Henderson, Nevada on a criminal complaint filed by the FBI.

Yahoo Finance reported Connell had worked in the Ridgewood office of Morgan Stanley, which fired him November 2016.

Prosecutors allege that between December 2015 and November 2016, Connell made unauthorized transfers totaling at least $5 million from accounts belonging to a single family.

Connell allegedly used the funds to pay for what prosecutors described as "exorbitant personal expenses" including country club membership fees and private jet trips, as well as his spouse's credit card bills and rent for a home near Las Vegas.

If convicted of the charge of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, Connell faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, or twice the gain or loss of the fraud, according to prosecutors.

Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

Source : http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2017/02/wealth_manager_from_nj_stole_5m_from_clients_feds.html

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