(Adds details on charges, comment from BNY Mellon)
By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK Feb 15 A former employee of a Bank of
New York Mellon Corp unit was arrested on Wednesday on
charges that he embezzled $7.1 million, which he used to pay for
gambling debts and buy an outdoor pool, luxury cars and a gun
Christopher Canale, who worked for Bank of New York's
Pershing LLC unit, most recently as an accounts payable manager,
was charged in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in
Canale, 47, was arrested in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he
resides, according to a spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney
Preet Bharara. An attorney for Canale could not be immediately
Pershing, a clearing firm unit of BNY Mellon, was not
identified by name in the complaint, but BNY Mellon confirmed in
a statement that Pershing was Canale's former employer. Canale
was fired in September, according to court papers.
"Upon discovering Christopher Canale's conduct, we
immediately terminated his employment and notified law
enforcement of the fraud against our company," BNY Mellon said.
"We have zero tolerance for unethical or illegal behavior."
According to the complaint, beginning in December 2013,
Canale authorized $2.53 million in wire transfers to companies
and people who were not pre-approved vendors, including to an
In September, an employee conducting an audit of the vendor
account noticed unusual wire transfers Canale had authorized to
the individual, and discovered he had been making unauthorized
wire transfers for years, the complaint said.
During an interview with an in-house lawyer at Pershing and
several other employees, Canale admitted he had wired out $2
million to $4 million to pay for personal debts and to "save his
life because of a gambling addiction," the complaint said.
He also admitted he wired funds to offshore entities and
individuals in exchange for watches and jewelry, which he used
to pay for his gambling debts, the complaint said.
He also admitted he used money to pay for personal credit
card bills and to buy an outdoor sound system, two Mercedes
cars, a pool, a gun safe and landscaping services, the complaint
After he was fired, Pershing continued to investigate,
leading to the discovery that Canale also forged an
ex-supervisor's signature to illegally cash checks intended for
petty cash, resulting in $4.6 million in losses, the complaint
The case is U.S. v. Canale, U.S. District Court, Southern
District of New York, No. 17-mj-1157.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr
and Leslie Adler)