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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 20, 2014

Former New Jersey Resident Arrested For Defrauding Investment Bank Of More Than $1.5 Million

NEWARK, N.J. – A former New Jersey resident was arrested today in North Carolina on charges that he allegedly orchestrated a scheme to defraud a United States subsidiary of an international investment bank of more than $1.5 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.

Michael Lieberman, 43, formerly of New Jersey and currently a resident of Huntersville, North Carolina, is charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance later today in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, at which time it is expected that he will be ordered to appear in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint:

Lieberman was employed by “Company A,” a United States-based subsidiary of an international investment bank, in its International Settlements Group located in Iselin, New Jersey. Company A engaged in and settled cross-border securities transactions and acted as a settlement agent for similar securities transactions entered into by its broker-dealer clients.  Company A’s International Settlements Group was responsible for, among other things, wiring funds to settle various securities transactions. 
From April 2012 through May 2014, Lieberman devised a scheme to defraud Company A out of more than $1.5 million by using his position in the International Settlements Group to initiate more than 40 separate fraudulent wire transfers of Company A’s money, directing the proceeds to bank accounts he either owned or controlled. Lieberman then spent Company A’s money for his own purposes, including purchasing a home in North Carolina, making tens of thousands of dollars in credit card payments and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on hotels, airplane tickets, home furnishings, restaurant tabs and other expenditures. 

Lieberman took various steps to conceal his fraudulent activities, including making fictitious entries in Company A’s bookkeeping system and supplying phony documents to others in order to cause them to make false entries in the company’s books and records reflecting fake profits on non-existent transactions.

The wire fraud counts with which Lieberman is charged each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million, or twice the gain or loss from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation leading to the arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zach Intrater and Paul Murphy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark and Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan S. Weitz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This arrest is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorney’s offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.

14-408                                                       

Defense counsel: TBD

Lieberman, Michael Complaint

Component(s): 
Updated August 21, 2015