Glen W. Albanese, a former chief financial officer at the brokerage firm Needham & Co., was charged with stealing $1 million to spend on wine, trips, decorating and a designer breed of dog known as a labradoodle.
Albanese, 41, stole from the New York-based company from 2000 to December 2010 by directing vendors to submit phony invoices, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest complaint. He told one vendor to give him envelopes of cash, while others paid his personal expenses, according to the FBI.
Albanese, of Manalapan, New Jersey, spent the proceeds on thousands of dollars of wine as well as interior decorating and landscaping services, equestrian equipment, and more than $40,000 in flights, hotels and travel, the FBI said. The expenses included a fence for the labradoodle, according to Matthew Reilly, a spokesman for New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
“Glen Albanese happens to be one of the nicest individuals, and characteristically you can characterize him as an ultimate gentlemen,” said his attorney Joseph Benfante after he appeared with Albanese today in federal court in Newark, New Jersey. “If these charges are true, it is something that he has never shown a propensity toward doing his entire life.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor released Albanese on $200,000 bond secured by his house. Albanese appeared in court in a grey hooded sweatshirt, and his hands were shackled.
He is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces as long as 20 years in prison.
Albanese worked at Needham from April 1997 to March 2011, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. A spokeswoman for Needham, Ingrid Thoonen, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on his arrest.
A Finra report said Albanese was permitted to resign on Feb. 25, 2011, after an investigation showed he caused Needham to pay $300,000 to an information technology services vendor for services or products that were never rendered.
He also caused the firm to pay $2,600 to a ticket broker for four seats at a game in the 2009 World Series, according to Finra. In that series, the New York Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, four games to two.
“Albanese wrote on the ticket broker’s invoice that he attended the World Series game with three other individuals,” the Finra report said. “Albanese’s attendance at the World Series game with the individuals listed on the invoice was not a legitimate business expense.”
Albanese submitted a phony reimbursement that said employees of Needham’s clearing firm, office furniture vendor and printing vendor attended the game, according to Finra.
Albanese also caused the firm to pay about $28,700 to a printing service vendor for unnecessary blank paper products and $67,900 in overpayments for products, Finra said.
The case is U.S. v. Albanese, 12-cr-7289, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).