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The Securities Exchange Commission and United States Attorney’s Office in Newark Charge New Jersey Broker with Misappropriation of Client Funds

On March 14, 2022, the SEC charged a former New Jersey broker and investment adviser, Mario Rivero Jr., 38, of Elizabeth, with misappropriating at least $680,000 from advisory clients and brokerage customers

Some of these customers were elderly or suffering from memory loss.

On the same day, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark announced the arrest of Rivero.

The SEC alleged that between July 2018 and November 2020, Rivero convinced at least five of his clients to transfer funds from their investment accounts to their personal bank accounts. Rivero then induced them to again transfer those funds to entities that Rivero controlled.

The SEC alleged Rivero violated various antifraud provisions in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

With one elderly investor, Rivero provided them with a falsified account statement for an alleged brokerage account in their name and then another investor’s name. This was to show the client that he had invested their funds in the stock market on their behalf, as he stated. However, that brokerage account never existed.

Rivero allegedly falsely told the customers the purpose of the transfers was to make investments on their behalf. Instead, Rivero stole approximately $680,000 from the entities that received the investor’s funds.

Federal Criminal Charges

The U. S. Attorney’s office charged Rivero with two counts of wire fraud, one count of investment advisor fraud, and one count of securities fraud.

Rivero was arrested at his home on March 14th brought before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint, Rivero and/or friends and family members of Rivero controlled the accounts from which the investors’ funds were stolen.

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that Rivero used the customers’ funds to cover gambling and personal expenses.

Rivero first entered the securities industry in 2010. He was registered with Wells-Fargo Clearing Services in Elizabeth from December 2010 until September October 2020.

He then worked at LPL Financial Services from October 2020 to June 2021.

FINRA permanently barred Rivero from the securities industry in June 2021for failing to cooperate in an investigation of his activities. The New Jersey Securities Bureau also revoked his registration in March 2022.

New Jersey Securities Fraud Attorneys

If you were a client of Rivero’s at Wells-Fargo or LPL Financial, do you now feel Rivero mishandled your account? Do you believe he in any misrepresented investments he recommended to or made for you?

If you have any questions or concerns about the handling of your account by Rivero, contact the New Jersey Securities Fraud attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo, LLP. Call us at our Cranford office at 908-709-0500 (toll free 844-288-7978) or email us here to set up a consultation.

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