Bergen County Investment Advisor Arrested for Stealing Millions from Clients

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NEWARK, N.J. – A former broker and investment advisor from Bergen County, New Jersey, was arrested today for allegedly stealing more than $2.86 million from five clients in order to pay for personal expenses, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Kenneth A. Welsh, 41, of River Edge, New Jersey, was charged by complaint with four counts of wire fraud and one count of investment advisor fraud. Welsh was arrested today at his home and is scheduled to appear by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From July 2017 through March 2021, Welsh, while serving in his capacity as an investment advisor employed by a large brokerage firm, misappropriated at least $2.86 million from five clients. Welsh, who had been entrusted to manage client funds responsibly, instead perpetrated a scheme to defraud the five clients by diverting money from their brokerage accounts to accounts under his control. Welsh then used the unlawfully obtained money to fund his gambling and to purchase high-end, luxury items for himself.

Each of the wire fraud counts carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. The investment adviser fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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