New York - (WALK) An anti-social former securities broker is accused of swindling clients out of more than $700,000 meant to be invested in Facebook, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.
Ronen Zakai, 42, of Hewlett promised five clients he would invest their money in the initial public offering of shares in the social media giant, Facebook. Instead, Zakai used their $705,000 for personal expenses, travel, shopping, a country club membership and car payments, according to Vance in a statement Thursday.
"Zakai called the venture The Social Innovation Fund; however, instead of purchasing the securities, the defendant quickly depleted the funds for his personal use," said Vance. Zakai collected the money from his clients between December 2010 and January 2012, according to court documents.
Zakai is charged with grand larceny, securities fraud and scheming to defraud, all felonies. He is being held on $250,000 cash bail or $350,000 bond. He is considered a flight risk and must surrender his passport if bail is posted, according to officials. He is scheduled to return to court on July 24.
Illustration: Manhattan District Attorney's Office