Manalapan resident Glen W. Albanese, 41, was arrested by FBI agents Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Albanese, the former chief financial officer of the Manhattan-based brokerage firm Needham & Co., allegedly stole $1 million from his former employer through an elaborate false invoice scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Albanese is scheduled to appear in Newark Federal Court Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor.
According to the FBI agent Kevin Bradley, who has been investigating Albanese for over two years, Albanese intentionally conspired with two other individuals to steal money from a broker through a false invoice scheme which occurred between 2000 and 2010.
Several vendors of Needham & Co. were induced in the alleged scam, including a company that provides information technology services and a company that provides printing services.Some of the fraudulent invoices charged for services that were never provided and others inflated the amount due for services that were provided, according to Albanese's complaint.
The fraudulent invoices were approved by Albanese on behalf of Needham & Co. Albanese then told the vendors to send him the majority of the illicit earnings.
The vendors then funneled the illegal funds to Albanese in a variety of ways, Bradley inidicated. For example, Albanese met one vendor at predetermined locations in Manhattan with envelopes containing thousands of dollars. Vendors also paid Albaneses' personal expenses directly, according to the complaint, including paying fdscaping, interior decorating, equestrian equipment, thousands of dollars worth of wine, a designer breed dog and a canine fence, and more than $40,000 in travel expenses, flights and hotels.
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credits special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation leading to the arrest of Albanese.
The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.