5 October 2004 LAWFUEL – Best law news, criminal law, legal, attorney, law firm news Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Michael S. Clemens, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Miami, Florida has returned a two (2) count Indictment against defendant, Carlos A. Shibata, a former Miami stock broker. The Indictment charges Shibata with two (2) counts of wire fraud in connection with a client’s securities brokerage account that he pilfered while employed as a broker with Smith Barney, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 1349.
If convicted of the two counts, Shibata faces a maximum statutory sentence of twenty (20) years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.
The Indictment alleges that Shibata, was employed by Smith Barney as a registered Investment Advisor Representative and a NASD licensed broker. Shibata is charged with diverting $290,471 from a client’s securities brokerage account at Smith Barney to an account he controlled at E*Trade bank on February 13, 2004. When that fraud went undetected for several months, Shibata, according to the Indictment, attempted to wire an additional $150,000 from the same account in order to purchase a 2004 Lamborghini at The Collection in Coral Gables.
The Indictment alleges that on or about January 21, 2004, Shibata was working with a client to finalize a real estate transaction in Miami-Dade County. He is charged with fraudulently directing that $295,000 first be deposited in a real estate attorney trust account at Espirito Santo Bank of Florida to complete that transaction. The next day, as charged, Shibata sent an e-mail, without the client’s permission, directing that the money in the real estate attorney trust account be wired to an account he owned and controlled at BankAtlantic and then on to an account at E*Trade Bank in Virginia. The Indictment charges that Shibata forged the client’s signature on the wire authorization form and then diverted the funds to his own account for his own use.
The Indictment also alleges that six (6) months later, after the first fraud went undetected, Shibata directed that a wire transfer in the amount of $150,000 be sent from the same client’s securities brokerage account in New York, again without permission, to a bank account for the benefit of The Collection LLC, a local luxury automobile dealership. It is alleged that the money was to serve as part payment for a 2004 Lamborghini luxury sports automobile being purchased by Shibata. The money never was wired as the fraud after investigators confirmed that the client had not authorized the transfer.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Southeast Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Florida Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Securities. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Wilfredo Fernandez.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls