MOUNT HOLLY - A Moorestown-based financial advisor will likely spend up to seven years in prison for skimming almost $900,000 from a client who thought the money was being invested in mutual funds, to fuel a lavish lifestyle.

Brian Murphy (NJ Motor Vehicle Comm)

Brian Murphy, 46, of Hainesport, pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of misapplicaiton of entrusted property, and a third-degree count of failure to pay New Jersey state income taxes, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.

His plea deal calls for a concurrent three-year sentence on the lesser charge, $890,000 restitution to the victim, payment of state abnd federal back taxes, and permanent forfeiture of his financial licenses.

According to information from the Prosecutor's office, Murphy, conducting business as Murphy Financial Advisors, began receiving money from the client in 2011, for mutual funds managed by a specific firm. Payments continued for four years.

Investigators determined that Murphy instead paid for personal and business expenses, such as a country club membership, private school tuition, cars and attorney fees.

Murphy's client grew suspicious when investment statements became sporadic, authorities said. Murphy was accused of presenting fabricated financial statements, and a link to a web page he created for no other purpose than to quell the investor's fears.

Undeterred, the cilent reached the investment firm and learned that there were no records on file of any funds deposited on the client's behalf by Brian Murphy. Asked for an explanation, Murphy visited the victim at home and tried to obtain a signature on a promissory note, indicating that the victim agreed to lend the money to him, authorities said.

Assistant Prosecutor Andrew R. McDonnell conducted the government's case. The lead investigator for the Prosecutor's Office was Detective Wayne Comegno, in collaboraiton with the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

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