New York

Ex-Morgan Stanley financial adviser arrested in fraud case

A former Morgan Stanley financial adviser was arrested in Nevada on Friday on charges in New York that he stole at least $5 million from several members of a wealthy family to live lavishly, including using private jets, authorities said.

Barry Connell, 50, of Chester, New Jersey, was arrested in Henderson, Nevada, on fraud and identity theft charges.

Authorities said Connell used his position at the New York-based financial institution to defraud three of the bank's wealthy clients from December 2015 until November.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Connell "used his clients' bank accounts as his own, siphoning off millions of dollars to pay for his extravagant lifestyle, including a country club membership and private jet expenses."

It was unclear who was representing him in Las Vegas federal court. The Federal Defenders office in Nevada did not immediately return a message.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a civil action that Connell misappropriated the money from the accounts of a couple and their daughter, using some of it to pay rent at a house near Las Vegas.

In a criminal complaint, the FBI said Connell had worked as a financial adviser in the bank's wealth management division from 2008 until November. It said he began in 2015 to manage multiple accounts for a family that had tens of millions of dollars in assets. Eventually, it said, he made withdrawals on at least 48 occasions as he siphoned off money.

Morgan Stanley said in a statement that it is cooperating with authorities.