Brazilian Woman Charged With Defrauding Clients And Misappropriating Their Money
Raquel Moura Borges Misappropriated More Than $4 Million of Her Clients’ Funds
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Daniel R. Brubaker, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced today the unsealing of an Indictment charging RAQUEL MOURA BORGES with securities fraud, wire fraud, and investment adviser fraud in connection with her scheme to defraud customers of her investment adviser firm, Global Access Investment Advisor LLC (“GAIA”). BORGES was arrested yesterday morning and presented before Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Lewis J. Liman.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Borges promised her investment advisory clients that she would invest in securities and other investments but in fact stole her clients’ savings and lined her own pockets. Now, for this alleged violation of the law and of her fiduciary duty to her clients, Borges faces federal criminal charges”
USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Daniel R. Brubaker said: “The defendant, a native of Brazil, was welcomed by Postal Inspectors with a pair of handcuffs upon her return to the United States yesterday. For years investors trusted Raquel Moura Borges and her company Global Access Investment Advisors in Manhattan with a combined total of over $19 Million. She allegedly violated at least two of those investors’ trust and broke the law by spending their money on a lavish New York City apartment and to cover other clients’ losses. The arrest of Borges should serve as a warning to criminals: no matter where they are, Postal Inspectors and our law enforcement partners will be waiting at the end of that road to bring you to justice. We will commit every resource available to us in the fight against investment fraud and will track down fraudsters whether they are here or abroad.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment:
From at least in or about 2017 until at least in or about 2018, RAQUEL MOURA BORGES represented to Victim-1 that she was making financial investments, including a private placement investment in a particular Brazilian company, on Victim-1’s behalf. In or about December 2017, over the course of three transactions, BORGES caused approximately $2.7 million to be transferred from Victim-1’s account to accounts controlled by BORGES.
Contrary to the representations made by BORGES to Victim-1 and in violation of the duties she owed Victim-1, none of the $2.7 million was actually invested on Victim-1’s behalf. Instead, BORGES diverted the money to others and spent approximately $160,000 on interior design fees for an apartment in Manhattan, New York that BORGES owned and used personally.
To conceal her misappropriation of Victim-1’s funds, in or about June 2018, BORGES sent Victim-1 a fake bank statement that falsely reflected a transfer of $2.7 million for the purpose of a “private placement purchase.”
From at least in or about 2016 until at least in or about 2017, BORGES represented to Victim-2 that she was making financial investments on Victim-2’s behalf. In or about August 2016, BORGES caused approximately $1.95 million to be transferred from Victim-2’s account to a GAIA account controlled by BORGES (the “GAIA Account”).
The purported reason for the transfer was an investment in real estate in New York. Contrary to the representations made by BORGES to Victim-2, and in violation of the duties she owed Victim-2, none of the $1.95 million was actually invested on Victim-2’s behalf.
Instead, on or about August 23, 2016, the same date that the $1.95 million wire from Victim-2’s account arrived in the GAIA Account, BORGES signed a check drawn on the GAIA Account in the amount of $1,500,000 payable to herself (the “$1.5M Check”). The “For” line of the $1.5M Check read “RB’s new house.” Also on or about August 23, 2016, BORGES caused the $1.5M Check to be deposited into her personal account.
In or about October 2017, in a meeting with a family member of Victim-2 and in a subsequent e-mail communication, BORGES admitted, in substance and relevant part, that she had misappropriated Victim-2’s money. Among other things, BORGES stated, in sum and substance, that BORGES had used Victim-2’s money to cover other clients’ losses and that BORGES would find a way to pay back Victim-2.
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BORGES, 55, of Brazil, is charged with one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of investment adviser fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the USPIS and also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has filed a civil enforcement action against the defendant, for its assistance in the investigation.
The case is being overseen by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gina Castellano is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.