An Elizabeth man has been placed in handcuffs for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from his clients, while he was a financial advisor, and then using that money to gamble and pay for personal expenses, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced on Monday.

Mario E. Rivero Jr., 38, was arrested at his home and subsequently charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud, one count of investment advisor fraud, and one count of securities fraud.

He was scheduled to appear in court on Monday afternoon.

Rivero was an investment advisor at a brokerage firm from April 2018 to November 2020 and during that time, is accused of misappropriating at least $529,870 from four clients.

He allegedly obtained money from his clients by telling them that he would invest it, but instead, cashed in the funds to use for himself and others.

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Rivero faces a maximum of 20-years in prison on each count of wire fraud and he'd have to pay a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

For investment adviser fraud, Rivero faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, and for securities fraud, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Gilberto Garcia Esq., Maywood, New Jersey.

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