* Glen Albanese charged in wire fraud conspiracy
* Defendant said to steal $1 million from brokerage
* Defendant released on bond
By Jonathan Stempel
Nov 15 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.
Glen Albanese, 41, was accused by federal prosecutors in New
Jersey with running a decade-long scheme from 2000 to 2010 in
which he induced vendors to submit fraudulently inflated bills
or fake invoices for services that were not provided.
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."
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, an independent brokerage regulator.
The defendant was charged with conspiracy to commit wire
fraud, and if convicted faces a maximum 20 years in prison plus
a $250,000 fine.
An FBI spokeswoman said Albanese, of Manalapan, New Jersey,
was arrested without incident at his home at about 6 a.m.
He was released on $200,000 bond after an afternoon hearing
before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Waldor in Newark, New Jersey,
a spokesman for Fishman said. Albanese did not enter a plea.
Joseph Benfante, a lawyer for Albanese, did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.
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 case is U.S. v. Albanese, U.S. District Court, District
of New Jersey, No. 12-mag-07289.