William Salomon, the 98-year-old former Wall Street banker, testified he trusted a former Citigroup assistant facing trial on charges that she stole $1.3m from him to support a lavish lifestyle.
Bloomberg reports that Karen Febles, 48, went on trial Wednesday in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, where she is accused of altering checks that he signed and depositing them directly into her own account. Febles, who controlled Salomon’s checkbook, used the money she stole to pay for cars, real estate, cruises and jewelry, a prosecutor told jurors in his opening statement.
Salomon told jurors that he worked from 1933 until 1978 at Salomon Brothers, the investment firm founded by his father and uncles. Citigroup, which bought the firm that became Salomon Smith Barney Holdings Inc., agreed to supply him with an office, a driver, a secretary and a personal assistant, he told jurors.
'Were you not careful in overseeing Ms. Febles’ check writing ?' Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Weitz asked Salomon.
'There’s no reason to have a personal secretary if you can’t trust her', Salomon said.
Weitz asked if he trusted Febles, who worked for him from 2000 until New York-based Citigroup fired her in September 2011.
'I certainly did', said Salomon said.
The prosecutor asked if Salomon reviewed bank statements.
'Very seldom', he said.
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