Morgan Stanley Representative Fined and Suspended for Fraudulent Wire Transfers

Debra J. Ferrara, a non-registered associate employed by New York NY-based Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (Morgan Stanley), submitted a letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) in which she consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that she falsely represented that she had verbally confirmed five wire transfers totaling $108,680 which turned out to be fraudulent requests from a customer’s hacked email account. Debra Jean Ferrara, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, allegedly caused five fraudulent wire disbursements to be transferred from a customer’s account to a third-party bank.  According to FINRA, Ms. Ferrara, a client services associate with Morgan Stanley, was sent an email with a request for a wire transfer of $27,750 from the hacked account of a client to a third party account.  Ms. Ferrara completed the wire processing form stating falsely that she had verbally confirmed the transfer request when she had not.  FINRA found that two days following the first hacked account wire request, Ms. Ferrara received another email from the imposter from an email that looked similar, but was different.  The “m” in the email address had been changed to an “n” this time.  Again, Ms. Ferrara processed the wire transfer requests, falsely attesting to verbally confirming the request when she had not.

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