A White Plains financial adviser was arrested last week and charged with securities fraud and wire fraud arising out of his embezzlement of more than $640,000 from two victims who had entrusted money to him for investment.
Gregg Brie, 53, could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison on the securities fraud count and 20 years in prison on the wire fraud count.
“As alleged, Gregg Brie stole money so he could live a lavish lifestyle,” stated Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “This office is committed to rooting out fraudulent investments in order to preserve the integrity of our capital markets.”
According to the allegations contained in the complaint, Brie embezzled funds from two victims, both of whom lived in his White Plains apartment complex. Brie advised his first victim, a disabled man on a fixed income and confined to a wheelchair, to buy shares in Alaska Air Group, Inc. Bank records show the victim gave Brie more than $480,000.
Brie told the victim he had opened accounts for him at a brokerage firm and that his stock had increased in value to approximately $8 million. When the victim asked for his money, Brie told him that his accounts were frozen because the stock brokers had done something “sketchy” in order to buy the shares at a lower price. When the victim attempted to contact the brokerage firm, Brie allegedly told him that he would “murder [him]” if the victim attempted to contact the firm again. Brie repeated this threat at least two more times, noting that he meant his threats to be taken “literally, not metaphorically.”
According to written loan agreements drafted by Brie, the second victim made three loans to Brie in a total amount of approximately $157,000 “for the purpose of producing and distributing a proprietary, composite unimold commode for use within indigent venues of the African nation of Uganda.”
The FBI’s analysis of bank accounts controlled by Brie showed that Brie spent the money he obtained from his two victims primarily on credit cards and a Mercedes Benz lease. The evidence showed that there was no brokerage account.
The criminal case is being prosecuted by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James McMahon and Shiva Logarajah are in charge of the prosecution.