A former Smith Barney financial adviser in New York has plead guilty to attempting to defraud a client of more than $3 million.
According to Reuters, Federal prosecutors have said that Sanjeev Jayant Kumar Shah admitted to sending false documents in March 2009 that authorized Smith Barney to transfer $3.25 million from a client’s account to an offshore bank.
Shah allegedly told the client that the transfer was made to purchase bonds. He then said a computer error at Smith Barney prevented the bonds from appearing on the client’s online account statement, said the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York.
Shah, 35, spent three and a half years at Smith Barney, a unit of Citigroup Inc, according to filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He has not been registered with FINRA since April 2009.
Shah pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison plus a fine, and three counts of wire fraud, each carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison plus a fine.
Shah entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz in Manhattan federal court.
In November 2010, FINRA announced that Shah was named in a FINRA complaint alleging that he made unauthorized foreign currency trades in a client’s account, resulting in margin calls being generated for the account and, without funds to meet the calls, certain of the customer’s accounts were frozen and one customer was unable to wire funds out of the account. The complaint also alleges that Shah made unauthorized transfers from another client satisfy, in part, the fund request the first client made and to satisfy the margin calls for the account. Additionally, FINRA also alleges that Shah, in order to carry out the unauthorized wire transfers, forged a signature and falsified Letters of Authorization (LOA) directing the transfer of funds.
If you have questions about investments you made with Shah or Smith Barney, The White Law Group may be able to help. For a free consultation, call the firm’s Chicago office at 312-238-9650.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida. With over 30 years of securities law experience, including experience working at FINRA (f/k/a the NASD) and the SEC, The White Law Group has the expertise to help investors defrauded in securities, investment and financial business transactions.
For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.