(Bloomberg) -- A former Wells Fargo & Co. investment adviser stole nearly $3 million from clients and used the money for personal expenses and to buy gold coins, federal prosecutors said.

Kenneth A. Welsh was arrested at his home in River Edge, New Jersey, Thursday morning on charges that he misappropriated funds from the accounts of five investors between 2016 and 2021. Welsh, who worked for Wells Fargo in nearby Fairfield, was fired in June when his conduct was discovered.

He is scheduled to appear in court later today. A lawyer for him couldn’t immediately be identified. Welsh faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted. He is also facing a parallel lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“At Wells Fargo we hold our employees to the highest ethical standards,” the bank said in a statement. “We notified regulators of this matter, the financial adviser was terminated, and we are working directly with clients to reimburse them.”

Welsh transferred at least $2.59 million from client accounts to credit card accounts held in the names of his wife or parents, which he controlled, prosecutors said. He’s also accused of stealing tens of thousands more by drawing more than a dozen checks on customer accounts -- at least seven of which were made out to a New Jersey coin dealer for the purchase of gold coins and one of which was paid to a company that leased automobiles.

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