Ex-Merrill Lynch Broker Alec Rivera Pleads Guilty to $1 Million Theft from Clients

Former Merrill Lynch broker Alec J Rivera entered a guilty plea to charges of wire fraud for transferring over $1 million out of clients' investment accounts without their knowledge or consent.

According to the federal government's case, Rivera directed or otherwise arranged for colleagues at Merrill Lynch to effect cash transfers from the clients' accounts into accounts belonging to the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago, falsely portraying that the clients had authorized the transfers when, instead, the clients had no knowledge of the scheme.

Rivera served as treasurer of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago, and, thus, had access to the chamber's accounts.

As such, Rivera subsequently issued checks from the chamber's accounts payable to himself, funneling a total of $1,065,381 out of his clients' investment accounts into the chamber's accounts in furtherance of the fraudulent scheme.

Court documents state that to conceal this fraud, Rivera intercepted his clients' real account statements and concocted fake account statements that concealed the transfers, which he sent to the clients in order to keep them in the dark.

FINRA previously barred Rivera (CRD #5514922) from the securities industry, while Merrill Lynch terminated his registration for the misappropriation of customer funds and falsification of customer account documents.

If you have invested with former Merrill Lynch broker Alec Rivera or with any broker or financial adviser who has misappropriated funds or transferred money out of your account without your knowledge or consent, and this fraudulent conduct has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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