The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged German Nino, a former securities broker and investment adviser representative for UBS Financial Services, with stealing $5.8m (£4.31m, €5.15m) from a long-standing client.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Nino “stole the investment funds from his client’s accounts over nearly a six-year period” and used $4.2m “on gifts for several women with whom he had romantic relationships”.
He allegedly “employed various methods to conceal his misconduct from his client”, including creating fake account statements, forging signatures on letters of authorisation, and altering UBS’s records for an affected account to prevent electronic notifications of wire transfers, the SEC said.
In addition to spending the money on vacations, luxury cars, and private school tuition for his romantic partners, Nino also allegedly “used the remaining $1.6m to repay funds he had taken from another client”.
Eric Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami regional office. “As a financial adviser, Nino was entrusted with millions of dollars belonging to his client. As alleged in our complaint, Nino took advantage of that trust by abusing his access to his client’s accounts for personal gain.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charges Nino with “violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties”, the regulator added.
In a parallel action, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida also announced criminal charges against Nino.
The investigations are ongoing.