A former Merrill Lynch broker is out one red Ferrari.
Steven Mandala was sentenced yesterday to two to six years in prison and ordered to pay more than $360,000 in restitution in connection to lying about his background and using his sign-on money to buy the sports car.
Mandala, 29, pleaded guilty May 19 in New York State Supreme Court to charges of grand larceny and identity theft. He was accused of falsifying information about his education and work experience in order to land a job with Merrill Lynch.
In a statement released by Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, back in April 2009, Mandala gave Merrill fake pay stubs, tax returns and a W-2 form to support a series of lies about the profits he made for his former employer, Maxim Group, a brokerage firm where he previously worked as a stockbroker. Mandala also falsely told Merrill that he was a partner at Maxim and managed $300 million in client assets. He also lied about his production levels, saying that he produced $1.5 million in revenue for which he received $765,000 in compensation.
Based on those fabrications, Merrill hired Mandala and gave him a $780,000 loan that was to be repaid over an eight-year period. Mandala deposited the money into his parent’s account and later used $245,000 to purchase a red 2006 Spider Ferrari in his father’s name, Vance said.
In his first two months, Mandala was repeatedly absent at his new job and brought in only two or three clients with a total of $20,000 in assets. By June 29, 2009, he resigned from his banking position.
In the criminal indictment, Mandala was accused of assuming the identify of his ex-girlfriend’s father in order to use his credit card to buy goods and services.
Franklin Rothman, Mandala’s defense lawyer, said the court ordered Mandala to repay $360,000 in restitution over a 10-year period, with monthly payments to begin once he is released from prison.
“I think that Steve finally came to grips of the magnitude of what happened,” Rothman said in a telephone interview. “He's been humbled. His priorities now are no longer what they were when I first met him after his arrest several months ago. [He is] no longer concern[ed] with material gain,” Rothman added.
The Ferrari, Rothman said, was auctioned off for less than $120,000.