What You Need to Know
- The ex-UBS broker allegedly spent most of the funds he defrauded from clients on his “several women with whom he had romantic relationships.”
- The purchases allegedly included small gifts and vacations, luxury cars, private school tuition, and an apartment in Colombia.
- He spent the remaining $1.2 million to repay another client from whom he had misappropriated funds, the SEC said.
A former UBS broker has been charged by both the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding $5.8 million from a family with several accounts at the wirehouse.
According to the SEC’s complaint, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, German Nino of Weston, Florida, stole the investment funds over nearly a six-year period and spent about $4.6 million of it on “several women with whom he had romantic relationships.”
Those purchases “ranged from small gifts and vacations, to luxury cars, private school tuition, and an apartment in Colombia,” the SEC complaint alleged. He spent the remaining $1.2 million to “fully repay another advisory client from whom he had previously misappropriated funds,” according to the SEC.
“Ensuring the safety of assets our customers entrust to us is always paramount,” a UBS spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday. “UBS has compensated the affected customers for any losses from their UBS accounts,” he said.
Asked for comment on Tuesday about the allegations made by the SEC and DOJ against his client, James D. Sallah of the law firm Sallah Astarita Cox, told ThinkAdvisor: “While we have made a temporary appearance for Mr. Nino in the DOJ matter, we are not in a position to comment at this time.”
Nino used various methods to hide his misconduct, including creating fake account statements, forging signatures on letters of authorization and altering UBS’s records to prevent electronic notifications of wire transfers, according to the SEC.
The SEC’s complaint charged Nino with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest and civil penalties.
Nino was registered as a broker with UBS from July 2012 until August 2020, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. It is the last firm he was registered with, according to the report, which says he was also previously a registered investment advisor.
He resigned from UBS after a client alleged Nino stole money from him from Feb. 23, 2018, to July 13, 2020, according to a disclosure on his report. The client requested $2 million from UBS but, in a settlement, received the full $5.8 million that was cited in the SEC and DOJ actions.