FORMER WACHOVIA FINANCIAL ADVISOR PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING APPROXIMATELY $1.45 MILLION IN CLIENT FUNDS
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael K. Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office, announced today that financial advisor, Lazaro E. Salado, 42, of Palmetto Bay, Florida, pled guilty to a Criminal Information charging him with one count of bank fraud for stealing client funds.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2011 before U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke. Salado faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and restitution.
According to the Criminal Information, Salado was a financial advisor at Wachovia in Miami, Florida, responsible for assisting clients in investments and financial planning. From February 2004 to May 2009, Salado stole more than $1.45 million from five of his clients at Wachovia by causing checks to be issued on client accounts, without the knowledge or authorization of these clients, for payment to a bank account controlled by Salado. Salado concealed the fraud by providing false and fraudulent statement to clients and also by transferring money between client accounts through unauthorized wire transfers.
As part of the plea agreement announced in court today, Salado agreed to make mandatory restitution of $1,457,309 to Wachovia (now Wells Fargo).
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Secret Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.