A former Wells Fargo financial advisor has been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on fraud charges related to the alleged forging of more than $1.8 million in checks written on accounts of an elderly widow who was his client.
Adorean Boleancu, 47, of Napa, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Jacqueline Corley in San Francisco today to 27 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.
Corley granted him release on an $800,000 bond and ordered him to appear before U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg, the trial judge assigned to the case, on July 23.
The indictment was filed under seal on July 9 and unsealed after Boleancu’s arraignment today.
According to the indictment, Boleancu worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley & Co. from 2004 to 2008, and then as a financial advisor and vice president for Wells Fargo Advisors, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., from 2008 to 2011.
The now-83-year-old widow, identified in the indictment by the initials D.T., was his client at both institutions between 2007 and 2011, the indictment said.
The indictment alleges that Boleancu wrote checks on the widow’s brokerage account and on her two home equity credit lines “for his personal benefit” between 2007 and 2010.
The checks were made payable to Boleancu’s family members, his girlfriend, another female acquaintance, cash and financial institutions where he held credit card accounts, the indictment alleged.
In a separate proceeding, Boleancu agreed to a settlement in March with a private regulatory agency, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
The settlement barred him from working in the securities industry and required him to pay the widow $650,000 in restitution for money allegedly taken from her through checks drawn on her home equity lines while he was working at Wells Fargo between 2008 and 2010.
The widow was “an inexperienced and unsophisticated investor” who relied on Boleancu’s professional advice and experience, the settlement said.
The settlement document said that he accepted, but did not admit or deny, the agency’s findings.
Boleancu’s defense attorney, Ethan Balogh, said today that the widow’s “allegations are false and will be proven so.
“Mr. Boleancu looks forward to confronting these spurious claims at trial,” Balogh said.
The criminal charges each carry possible maximum penalties ranging from two to 30 years in prison, if Boleancu is convicted.
Wells Fargo spokesman Vince Scanlon said, “The check writing which led to the conversion of funds by Mr. Boleancu as alleged in the indictment occurred outside of the customer’s account at Wells Fargo Advisors.
“The checks were drawn on a line of credit issued to the customer by Morgan Stanley when she had an account at that firm several years ago,” Scanlon said.
“Mr. Boleancu has repaid almost half of the money and Wells Fargo, along with Morgan Stanley, has been cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the customer’s attorney to recover the remaining funds,” the spokesman said.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News