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Broker From Livingston Stole $270K From Elderly Couple

Michael Siegel
Michael Siegel Photo Credit: Attorney General

An investment broker must pay restitution to an elderly widow after admitting he stole more than a quarter of a million dollars from her and her husband, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Monday.

Michael Alan Siegel, 62, of Livingston, who pleaded guilty to theft by deception in Essex County Superior Court, is scheduled to be sentenced in September. Prosecutors wilk ask for a three-year sentence.

Siegel was friends with the couple when he suggested they transfer their investment accounts, which totaled more than $2 million, to the brokerage Siegel went to work for in 2013. The husband has since passed away. 

When Siegel took a job at another firm the following year, the couple once again transferred their funds for Siegel to manage.

That year, Siegel convinced the couple to invest in a bogus “options program.” Siegel actually took the 49 checks -- totalng more than $270,000 -- and spent the money on himself, authorities said.

“Investors count on their brokers to act with honesty and integrity in managing their investments, but Siegel callously betrayed the trust of his victims by stealing over a quarter of a million dollars from them,” said Grewal. “We are committed to protecting New Jersey’s investors by holding dishonest brokers accountable through civil actions as well as criminal prosecutions, where appropriate.”

The state Bureau of Securities brought a civil action against Siegel and revoked his broker registration last year. The agency also assessed a $100,000 penalty before referring the case for criminal prosecution, authorities said. 

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