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LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, and JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR.,
the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the
unsealing of charges against MATTHEW D. WEITZMAN. WEITZMAN, who
is a former principal of AFW Asset Management, Inc., doing
business as AFW Wealth Advisers, Inc. (“AFW”), is charged with a
multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud investors by using
deception to misappropriate investor funds from a brokerage
account, lying to investors about how their money was being used,
and converting investor money to his own use.
According to the thirteen-count Complaint against
WEITZMAN filed in Manhattan federal court:
AFW is a financial planning and investment management
firm with offices in Purchase, New York and Natick, Massachusetts.
WEITZMAN was a co-founder of AFW, and until early April 2009 was a
Certified Financial Planner there. AFW had more than $190 million
in assets under management at the end of 2008, which it holds at
an independent brokerage firm (the “Brokerage Firm”).
Beginning in at least 2005, WEITZMAN fraudulently
obtained more than $6 million of AFW investor funds and converted
those funds to his own personal use. WEITZMAN obtained the funds
by submitting forged documents to the Brokerage Firm that made it
appear as if clients had authorized WEITZMAN to transfer their
funds. He also obtained investor funds by making
misrepresentations to them concerning how their funds would be
WEITZMAN is charged with one count of investment
adviser fraud, six counts of securities fraud, and six counts of
wire fraud. The investment adviser fraud carries a maximum
penalty of five years’ imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, and 3 years’
supervised release. Each of the securities fraud counts carries
a maximum penalty of twenty years’ imprisonment, a $5,000,000
fine, and 3 years’ supervised release. Each of the wire fraud
counts carries a maximum penalty of twenty years’ imprisonment, a
$250,000 fine, and 3 years’ supervised release.
WEITZMAN 43, of Armonk, New York, surrendered to the
FBI this morning and is expected to be presented later today
before United States Magistrate Judge RONALD L. ELLIS, in
Manhattan federal court.
Mr. DASSIN praised the work of the FBI and thanked the
Securities and Exchange Commission for its assistance in the
investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorneys JOAN LOUGHNANE and
VIRGINIA CHAVEZ ROMANO are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely
accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.