Morgan Stanley Employee Pleads Guilty in Data Breach Case

A Morgan Stanley employee who was fired in connection with a data breach at the company, pleaded guilty Monday to downloading hundreds of thousands of confidential customer account data.

Galen Marsh, a former financial advisor in Morgan Stanley’s private wealth division, was fired nine months ago after the accessed data ended up being published online.  Names, addresses, account numbers, and investment information are among the sensitive data of the 730,000 accounts (10% of the Wealth division clients) taken by Marsh, according to the prosecution.  They also claim that Marsh was speaking to other companies about a possible new job when the data was taken.

The defense tells a different story.  According to Robert Gottlieb, Marsh’s attorney, he had nothing to do with posted data.  900 accounts were published online, but the defense claims that was a separate incident that should be blamed on hackers.  Marsh transferred the 730,000 accounts to his home computer between 2011 and 2014, but claims that he did not post any of them online.

“This action, which follows Morgan Stanley’s initial investigation and reporting of his misconduct, makes clear that misuse of client account information will not be tolerated,” the bank said in a statement.

While Marsh’s attorneys hope that it won’t do any prison time, Marsh has agreed not to appeal any prison sentence of 37 months or shorter as part of a plea deal.

Sentencing is scheduled for December.

For information on how you can prevent your organization from being breached, visit or call 714-515-4011.


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