Ex-Merrill Broker Who Ripped Off $780,000 From Bank Pleads Guilty, Frauds Everywhere Weep For Loss Merrill's Mensa Members

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Steve Mandala is the guy who took Merrill Lynch for $780,000, and with some of the cash, bought himself a red 2006 Ferrari F430 Spider. Prior to joining the bank, he was a broker at Maxim Group who earned about $100,000 annually. He sensed that there was some money to help himself to at Mother Merrill but didn't think he'd be able to land the gig. So, he lied and told them he was a partner at Maxim, where he managed $300 million in assets and took home $765,000 a year. This probably would not have worked at some other firm, but Merrill was a special, special bank.

“Somehow you got them to hire you because you told them you had big-time clients?” acting state Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman said to Mandala in court, referring to Merrill Lynch.

Yeah! That's exactly what happened! Wild, isn't it?

“I gave them some financial documents that supported my claims,” Mandala said, admitting he provided a phony story.

Phony shmony who cares the point is they bought it and in turn, the brain trust loaned him Mandala the 780 grand as “an incentive." An incentive for what? To "frequently" fail to show up for work, only bring in two or three clients and then resign via e-mail so he could devote more time to scamming his girlfriend's father's credit card, which required a bit more attention than taking ML for a ride (anyone could do that).

Broker Who Stole $780,000 From Merrill Pleads Guilty [BW]

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Remember Andrey Hicks? To recap, he's the guy who was arrested last year (trying to make a run for Switzerland) and had his assets frozen by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which took issue with the fact that, in addition to stealing a couple million from investors in his Locust Offshore Management fund, he'd fed them a "brazen web of lies" that included: the claim he received a Ph.D in Applied Mathematics from Harvard in two years (he neither earned his doctorate from Harvard nor his undergraduate degreeĀ and in fact only lasted three semesters in Cambridge, taking a single math course, in which he got a D-); the claim that while working at Barclays Capital, he increased his group's assets under management to $16 billion, despite BarCap having no record of his employment; the claim that at Locust, he applied "quantitative strategies based on mathematical models he developed at Harvard"; the claim that Ernst & Young was the fund's auditor, Credit Suisse its prime broker and custodian, even though the SEC report was the first either had heard of the guy. Anyway, he's probably going to spend some time in jail.