Richard Garaventa Jr., a former vice president at Morgan Stanley, has been arraigned at Manhattan's state Supreme Court on grand larceny and other counts. He maintains his innocence, but prosecutor Jeremy Glickman claims the 36-year-old defendant stole more than $2.5 million between September 2001 and December 2008.
As part of his role Garaventa was authorised to request or approve cheques for certain corporate payments from one of the company's in-house accounts.
After his arrest last week, police sources told the New York Daily News that he is accused of writing and depositing more than 50 cheques into a bogus fund for himself that he named NY Transfer Corp. Morgan Stanley became suspicious in December when it went through Garaventa's books while he was on vacation and noticed irregularities.
According to the newspaper reports, the prosecution claimed at the arraignment that Garaventa used the stolen money to buy a Mercedes and a Lexus, to buy jewelry, to renovate his home and to take family and friends to Aruba and other places.
He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Justice Daniel FitzGerald set Garaventa's bail at $1 million and scheduled his return for March 4.