By Jonathan Stempel
Nov 15 (Reuters) - A former chief financial officer of
Needham & Co was charged on Thursday with stealing $1 million
from the investment banking and brokerage firm and using some of
the money to pay for vacations, wine and a dog fence, federal
Glen Albanese, 41, was criminally charged in U.S. District
Court in New Jersey with running a decade-long scheme in which
he induced vendors to submit fraudulently inflated bills or fake
invoices for services that were not provided.
It was unclear if Albanese has hired a lawyer for his
defense. A lawyer who represented Albanese in a prior civil
regulatory matter did not immediately respond to a request for
comment. Albanese's home phone number is unlisted.
Needham did not immediately respond to a request for
The office of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey said
Albanese received illicit proceeds by accepting envelopes
stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash, or by asking vendors
to pay his personal expenses.
According to prosecutors, the expenses included landscaping
and interior decorating at Albanese's home, thousands of dollars
of wine, equestrian equipment, tickets to Walt Disney World and
Six Flags theme parks, flights and hotels, and "a designer-breed
dog and canine fence."
The scheme ran from 2000 to 2010, prosecutors said.
An FBI spokeswoman said Albanese, of Manalapan, New Jersey,
was arrested without incident at his home at about 6 a.m.
Albanese was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud,
and if convicted faces a maximum 20 years in prison plus a
He was scheduled to appear later on Thursday in federal
court in Newark, New Jersey.
Albanese resigned from New York-based Needham in February
2011 after the firm began to question his dealings with vendors,
according to records of the Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority, the securities industry's own regulator.
In September, FINRA brought a civil enforcement case
accusing Albanese of improper invoicing. It said he once caused
Needham to pay $2,600 as a business expense for four tickets to
the 2009 baseball World Series.
The federal government's criminal complaint against Albanese
misspells his first name as "Glenn." A spokesman for the U.S.
Attorney's office confirmed the proper spelling.
The case is U.S. v. Albanese, U.S. District Court, District
of New Jersey, No. 12-mag-07289.
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