TRENTON, N.J. – A former financial advisor entrusted with advising clients on investments was convicted by a federal jury today for defrauding his client, a former factory worker, out of his retirement savings and using the funds for his own benefit, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Jesse Holovacko, 39, of Sayreville, New Jersey, was convicted on all counts of an indictment charging him with six counts of wire fraud and one count of investment advisor fraud following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour before returning the guilty verdicts.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Holovacko was an investment advisor at a financial institution located in New Jersey. In 2012, Holovacko went to the factory where the victim worked, met with the victim and some of his co-workers, and signed the victim on as a client, transferring the victim’s pension savings into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The victim entrusted Holovacko with managing the victim’s retirement savings.
From December 2013 through August 2014, Holovacko falsely told the victim that he would use retirement account funds to purchase bonds for him and advised the victim to transfer the retirement money to the victim’s bank account and then provide cashier’s checks made out directly to the financial advisor, telling the victim it would make it easier to purchase the bonds. Based on these false representations, Holovacko obtained 18 cashier’s checks totaling approximately $255,000.
Holovacko deposited all of the cashier’s checks into his own personal bank account and spent it for his car loan and mortgage payments, dining out, concerts and clubs, baseball game tickets, as well as taking out approximately $150,000 in cash. In order to continue deceiving the victim, Holovacko promised the victim documentation of the purported investments in bonds.
The wire fraud charges on which Holovacko was convicted each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The investment advisor fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Sentencing is set for Aug. 8, 2017.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn in Newark, and agents with the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt, with the investigation leading to today’s verdict. He also thanked the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the N.J. Bureau of Securities of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jihee G. Suh and Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Paul Condon, Jersey City, New Jersey