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Secretary stands trial for $1.3M theft

Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:42 PM

NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A 98-year-old Wall Street banker testified in Newark, N.J., federal court that his former secretary stole more than $1.3 million from him over 11 years.

William Salomon, whose father founded Salomon Brothers, a renowned bond-trading house purchased by Citibank in the 1990s, had hired Karen Febles as a personal secretary. Over the years, prosecutors allege Febles forged or altered checks Salomon gave her to deposit into his account, sometimes turning $900 into $9,000 -- or forging the elderly man's signature entirely. Many of the checks were to pay for household help at Salomon's Park Avenue residence.

Prosecutors said Febles used the money to support a lavish lifestyle that included luxury cars and fancy cruises, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger said.

Defense lawyers poked holes in Salomon's testimony, pointing out Salomon regularly paid household staff in cash, failing to withhold taxes. Febles' lawyer also pointed to a personal loan Salomon made to Febles and her advocating on his behalf for a better office once the firm was acquired by Citibank.

Febles, of Palisades Park, N.J., is charged with fraud and forgery. The case is scheduled to continue in federal court Thursday.