A White-Collar Christmas

November 30, 2010

Offshore Bank Scam by Former Smith Barney Adviser Leads to Guilty Plea

Sometime around March 2009, Sanjeev Jayantkumar Shah, a financial advisor with Smith Barney, fabricated and then emailed documents that purported to be from representatives of a foreign bank ("Client-2") authorizing Smith Barney to execute at least two separate electronic transfers of funds totaling approximately $3.25 million from Client-2's account at Smith Barney to an account held by another entity (the "Entity") at another, foreign bank (the "Offshore Bank"). Shah also falsely told the representatives of Client-2 that the transfers were necessary to purchase bonds that he previously had recommended to Client-2. That same day, and again on or about the following day, Shah represented to Client-2 that he would send statements to Client-2 reflecting the purported purchase of the bonds.

After engineering the fraudulent transfer of Client 2's funds, Shah sought to cover up his scheme by telling the representatives of Client-2 that a technical error on Smith Barney's computer system temporarily prevented the bonds from appearing in the online account statement. Shah reiterated that he had in fact purchased the bonds for Client-2.

On November 24, 2010, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed a four-count Information charging Shah, 35, with one count of securities fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

  • The securities fraud count carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of the greater of $5,000,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
  • Each of the wire fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison, and a maximum fine of the greater of $1,000,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
  • The Information also seeks forfeiture from Shah of the property that constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the commission of the offenses charged.

On November 24, 2010, Shah pled guilty before U. S Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz in Manhattan federal court to the Information and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 24, 2011, by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III.


Bill Singer's "Street Sweeper" Column

Feds Try to Stop Grinch Before He Steals Christmas

On November 29, 2010, "Cyber Monday," the Department of Justice and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations executed seizure orders against 24 commercial websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works.  The Feds targeted online retailers of a diverse array of counterfeit goods, including sports equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel and sunglasses as well as illegal copies of copyrighted DVD boxed sets, and music. Federal courts throughout the country executed seizure orders against a total of 82 website domain names.
Read Post

The FBI Issues Holiday Warning About Smishing, Vishing and Other Scams by Cyber-Criminals

It's not just the holiday season for shoppers -- cyber-criminals look forward to this period of increased retail activity as a way to steal our money and personal information. This new wave of fraud is no longer simply targeting your somewhat antiquated desktop computer or even your laptop, but the...
Read Post

A Guilty Plea and Conviction End an ATM Scam

On October 19, 2010, The Huffington Post reported on the federal criminal prosecutions of Vance Moore II and Walter Netschi arising from allegations of their fraudulent sales of investments in Automated Teller Machines ("ATMs"). As reported in that earlier story, from 2005 to January 2008, Vance Moore II...
Read Post