Jersey Shore financial advisor admits to stealing $500K from seniors
TOMS RIVER — A Wall Township financial advisor pleaded guilty to receiving over $500,000 in money from senior clients he never invested on their behalf.
Peter Martorana, 62, an investment/financial advisor for a company called Retirement Benefit Specialists, admitted to accepting checks from his clients in their 70s, 80s and 90s but used the money for his own benefit, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronado.
Martorana accepted the checks between December 2006 and August 2013, according to Coronado. He was charged with one count of financial facilitation of criminal activity in excess of $500,000.
Martorana had an office in the Holiday City retirement community in Toms River. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Ocean County has a high population of residents 65-and-over, amounting to 21 percent of all residents. The state average is 13 percent.
“Ocean County has a senior population that is particularly vulnerable to fraudsters like Martorana. This should send a message to others of his ilk that such behavior will not be tolerated. Anyone entrusting their money to a financial adviser should be sure they are reputable and properly licensed," Coronado said in a statement.
The Prosecutor's Office has recommended a 10-year prison sentence with a period of parole ineligibility of four years. Sentencing is scheduled for July.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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