Ex-Morgan Stanley VP gets 2-6 years prison for theft

NEW YORK Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:10pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Morgan Stanley executive was sentenced to between two and six years in prison for stealing $2.51 million from the company and using some of the money to make mortgage payments and buy luxury goods.

Richard Garaventa Jr, a former Morgan Stanley vice president in operations, was sentenced on Tuesday by Acting New York State Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.

Garaventa pleaded guilty in July to grand larceny and falsifying business records. He faced 43 counts in the indictment last February, when the Manalapan, New Jersey resident was arrested.

Prosecutors accused Garaventa of causing the issuance of 50 checks from an in-house Morgan Stanley account in amounts ranging from $8,670 to $74,812, and depositing them in a JPMorgan Chase & Co checking account in the name of NY Transfer Corp, which he incorporated.

They said Garaventa used his account to cover personal expenses including mortgage payments, airline tickets to Aruba and Florida, jewelry, car services and restaurant bills. The scheme ran from September 2001 to December 2008, prosecutors said.

Morgan Stanley fired Garaventa in January 2009, prosecutors said.

Garaventa apologized to Morgan Stanley and to his family at Tuesday's court hearing, the district attorney's spokeswoman said. Prosecutors said they obtained all the restitution they believed possible, including the sale of the defendant's house and two cars, and the surrender of his bank accounts, she said.

The case is New York v. Garaventa, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 00088/2009.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel. Editing by Robert MacMillan)