NEW YORK A former Morgan Stanley wealth
manager in New Jersey has been criminally charged with stealing
about $5 million from clients, and then going on a spending
spree including private jet service, luxury cars, and country
Barry Connell, 50, was arrested early Friday in Henderson,
Nevada, a Las Vegas suburb, and charged with wire fraud and
aggravated identity theft, according to the office of U.S.
Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed related
civil charges against Connell, a resident of Chester, New
A lawyer for Connell could not immediately be identified. No
one could be reached at the defendant’s home for comment.
Morgan Stanley is not named in court papers, but a person
familiar with the matter said it was Connell’s employer for the
period in question. The bank was not accused of wrongdoing.
Authorities said Connell, who worked in a Morgan Stanley
office in Ridgewood, New Jersey, stole money from accounts
belonging to a married couple and their daughter from December
2015 to November 2016.
Connell made more than 100 unauthorized transfers, but told
his employer that he had client permission, authorities said.
Much of the money went to funding his “lavish lifestyle,”
which also included a rental home in Henderson, the authorities
Morgan Stanley fired Connell in November, citing his alleged
unauthorized withdrawals from client accounts for his own
apparent benefit, brokerage industry records show.
“We have been cooperating with law enforcement regarding
this matter,” the bank said in a statement on Friday.
Before joining Morgan Stanley in 2008, Connell worked for a
decade at UBS Group AG, industry records show.
The cases are U.S. v. Connell, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 17-mag-00694; and SEC v. Connell in
the same court, No. 17-00831.
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