💰 A former investor has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison

💰 He worked at Wells Fargo for nearly ten years and his victims were clients

💰 Three of the victims were siblings over 80 years old

ELIZABETH — A former New Jersey financial advisor has been sentenced to 42 months in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients for his personal use.

Mario Rivero Jr., 39, of Elizabeth appeared in court on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said. The previous Red Bank resident pleaded guilty in February to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.

Rivero worked for Wells Fargo from December 2010 to October 2020 and then was employed by LPL Financial for nine months, according to his BrokerCheck profile. His five victims had brokerage accounts at Wells Fargo that he handled.

In April 2018, Rivero began to defraud his clients. He promised them that he would invest the money into the stock market or funds but then took the money for himself. Rivero used the money for gambling or personal expenses, Sellinger said.

By the time it ended in November 2020, he had misappropriated $626,478, according to Sellinger.

All of the victims were over the age of 65. Three were siblings ages 83, 86, and 93, according to a criminal complaint. Court documents said their primary language was Spanish and they were experiencing "mental decline."

Rivero put in the time to develop a "close personal relationship" with the three victims and even spent holidays with them so he could exploit them.

After serving his 3.5-year prison term, Rivero must serve three years of supervised release. He was previously barred as a stockbroker.

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