Barry Connell Accused by SEC of Misappropriating $5 Million of Client Funds

shutterstock_63635611-300x200The investment lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating allegations by The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finding that former Morgan Stanley broker Barry Connell (Connell) working out of the Ridgewood, New Jersey office misappropriated about $5 million from clients.  After a customer complained of about $2,500,000 in unauthorized fund transfers in November 2016 Morgan Stanley terminated Connell about a week later.  Morgan Stanley terminated Connell on ground that there were “Allegations regarding unauthorized withdrawals and transfers of funds from client’s household accounts to third-party payees, which appear to be for the benefit of the former registered representative.”  Thereafter, Connell was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for failing to provide documents and information related to Morgan Stanley’s statement.

In February 2017, the SEC alleged that Connell stole money from investors to settle a private lawsuit among other misuses.  Connell was alleged to have engaged in misappropriation of approximately $5 million from investment advisory clients.  The SEC found that from approximately December 2015 through November 2016, Connell carried out his scheme primarily by moving funds between client accounts and then sending wire transfers and checks from the accounts to third parties for his own benefit.  The SEC stated that over the course of approximately 11 months Connell made more than 100 unauthorized transactions through forms falsely representing that he had received verbal client authorizations for the transactions.  The SEC changed that this conduct was the engaging in transactions, acts, practices and courses of business that constitute violations of Section 206(1) and Section 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

Connell  entered the securities industry in 1998.  Since May 2008, Connell was associated with Morgan Stanley.

Brokerage firms are responsible for implementing supervisory procedures to review and approve fund transfers and wires to ensure that funds are not being used for wrongful purposes or being converted.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration.  The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases where brokers and other individuals have misappropriated client funds and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.