Securities fraud attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of victims of James Ryan Lanier, a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. Reportedly, Lanier was arrested on fraud, identity theft and money laundering related to embezzlement. Allegedly, Lanier, 33, embezzled over $800,000 from Merrill Lynch clients and was arrested in San Diego, California.
According to the allegations listed in the 65-count indictment against Lanier, while he was working for Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor between 2008 and 2010, Lanier forged client signatures on fraudulent letters of authorization to Merrill Lynch client associates. These client associates were responsible for processing client funds through wire transfers. Purportedly, these letters also contained misleading and false statements that were intended to persuade the client associates to transfer funds from the investment accounts of clients to bank accounts under Lanier’s control.
According to the indictment, stock fraud lawyers say that Lanier deliberately sought out assistance from client associates who were not familiar with his clients to direct funds transfers. Lanier allegedly claimed Merrill Lynch clients had given voice approval on a recorded telephone conversation, though no such approval was given. Choosing client associates who were unfamiliar with his clients aided Lanier in his scheme.