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Press Release

Union County Investment Advisor Arrested for Stealing Client Money

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A former investment advisor from Union County, New Jersey, was arrested today for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from multiple clients to fund his gambling and personal expenses, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Mario E. Rivero Jr., 38, of Elizabeth, New Jersey was charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud, one count of investment advisor fraud, and one count of securities fraud. Rivero was arrested at his home and is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From April 2018 through November 2020, Rivero, while serving in his capacity as an investment advisor employed by a large brokerage firm, misappropriated at least $529,870 from four clients. Rivero, who had been entrusted to manage client funds responsibly, instead perpetrated a scheme to defraud multiple clients. He obtained his clients’ money under the fraudulent pretense that he would invest the funds, but instead, Rivero unlawfully diverted the funds to enrich himself and others.

Each of the wire fraud counts carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. The investment adviser fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The securities fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Damon Wood, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 14, 2022

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 22-090