Former Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Sentenced For Embezzlement

TALLAHASSEE, FL B James Ryan Lanier, 33, was sentenced to 106 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $800,000 from Merrill Lynch clients. The sentence was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Between 2008 and 2010, Lanier used his position as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in Tallahassee to funnel approximately $887,931 in client funds to his own personal bank accounts. Lanier was able to induce Merrill Lynch Client Associates to wire transfer client funds to bank accounts Lanier controlled by using forged client authorization letters and falsely claiming that his clients had verbally approved the transfers. To facilitate the scheme, Lanier purposely sought assistance from Merrill Lynch employees who were unfamiliar with Lanier’s clients. Lanier used the embezzled client funds to make loan payments, and to purchase vehicles, an interest in a cellular telecommunications business, and a condominium in Albany, Georgia. Read More