A financial advisor from Westchester has been accused of embezzling more than $640,000 from clients.
Gregg Brie, of White Plains, was arrested on Thursday morning, Oct. 1 and charged with securities fraud and wire fraud, Audrey Strauss, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced.
“As alleged, Gregg Brie stole money so he could live a lavish lifestyle," Strauss said. "This office is committed to rooting out fraudulent investments in order to preserve the integrity of our capital markets.”
According to the allegations contained in the complaint filed in court:
- Brie embezzled funds from two victims, both of whom lived in his White Plains apartment complex.
- He advised his first victim, a disabled man on a fixed income and confined to a wheelchair, to buy shares in Alaska Air Group, Inc. Bank records show that this victim gave Brie more than $480,000.
- Brie told his victim that he had opened accounts for him at a brokerage firm and that his stock had increased in value to approximately $8 million.
- When the victim asked for his money, Brie told him that his accounts were frozen because the stockbrokers had done something “sketchy” in order to buy the shares at a lower price.
- When the victim attempted to contact the brokerage firm, Brie told him that he would “murder [him]” if the victim attempted to contact the firm again. Brie repeated this threat at least two more times, noting that he meant his threats to be taken “literally, not metaphorically.”
- According to written loan agreements drafted by Brie, the second victim made three loans to Brie in a total amount of approximately $157,000 “for the purpose of producing and distributing a proprietary, composite unimold commode for use within indigent venues of the African nation of Uganda.”
- The FBI’s analysis of bank accounts controlled by Brie showed that Brie spent the money he obtained from his two victims primarily on credit cards and a Mercedes-Benz lease. The evidence showed that there was no brokerage account.
Brie faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison on the securities fraud count and 20 years in prison on the wire fraud count.
Sweeney, of the FBI, said: “The charges today allege that Gregg Brie is an embezzler. If you trusted Mr. Brie to invest your money, and believe you might be an additional victim of his actions, we urge you to call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.