Investment Banker Arrested

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BB gun, evidence

Source: Daily News, Andy Holzman

Believe it or not, there are some bankers, even in these ever-changing financial times, who find a little time to enjoy their favorite hobbies. Unfortunately, for one Rodeo Drive banker, that hobby has resulted in his arrest.

Michael Poret, a 58-year-old investment adviser, has been arrested in connection with a rash of window smashes along the Ventura Boulevard corridor in Los Angles. This, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, has many folks baffled since everyone assumed it was more likely a group of bored kids on summer break who were causing all the damage.

Police say Poret is allegedly responsible for dozens of broken windows in cars and homes dating as far back as the beginning of the year. The LAPD released a statement on Thursday and said the weapon of choice was a slingshot, marbles, bolts and nuts to shoot out windows. The suspect, wearing white gloves, would pull up in a silver SUV and fire the objects, often from the opposite side of the wide avenues.

Police say they’ve not yet figured out a motive, but LAPD Det. Luie Velasquez told the Los Angeles Times,

for whatever reason, these individuals get some kind of thrill from smashing windows.

We figure he never outgrew that childhood fascination.

Apparently, the banker would wait until the streets were empty and most of his crimes happened along Ventura Blvd., between Balboa and Haskell. The “shoot outs” happened usually well after midnight, police said. In recent months, the vandalism began to increase. Once they targeted Poret, they searched his home and found slingshots, BB guns, other firearms, marbles and other items that could be used to “shatter the windows,” police said.

He’s currently in jail on a $60,000 bond and was booked on charges of felony vandalism. We’re wondering if anyone called in sick to the bank this morning on his behalf?

When asked why smart people do stupid things, Kurt Kleiner, a Toronto writer, said, “Intelligence by itself doesn’t make you rational. Thinking rationally demands mental skills that some of us don’t have and many of us don’t use”. The fact is, from a psychological stance, we’ve all done regrettable things. Granted, most of those stupid decisions don’t land us in jail with felony charges, but let’s face it – the human condition allows all of us – even investment bankers – to makes less than ideal choices.

After all, how many of us insist having a Diet Coke with our candy bars somehow “balances” our diet? And who among us hasn’t posted a less than stellar Facebook post that we couldn’t pull down fast enough two minutes later? It all comes down to that shared trait of the human condition.

Plundering through his Linkedin account, Poret states he holds the position vice president of investments at UBS Financial Services since June 2008 and is listed as a 1976 graduate of San Diego State University-California State University. The media has left phone and Facebook messages, though there’s been no reply.

Ah… guess someone did call in to the office for him after all:

Just before publication, a UBS spokesperson released a statement,

Mr. Poret has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Unfortunately, and especially if he’s found guilty, Poret will likely find himself living off his credit cards as he searches for a new job in a brutally tough employment sector.

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About Author

David is a CPA and has spent the past decade as a financial adviser helping clients meet their fiscal objectives. With an appreciation for journalism, he has spent the past few years overseeing several financial columns as well as writing two previous finance blogs. He resides on the East Coast with his wife and two sons and has guided many through the recent recession while providing a no-nonsense approach to spending and saving.


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