The Morgan Stanley (MS) employee who prosecutors said was with a New York woman during her arrest last month for running a brothel is David Spencer Walker, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Anna Gristina, a Scot and British citizen who’s a legal permanent resident of the U.S., was with “a Morgan Stanley banker who she counts as a close friend” when arrested, said Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan, according to a transcript of the court proceedings on Feb. 23, a day after she was arrested in Midtown Manhattan.
Gristina was at Walker’s office “for a meeting in which she was trying to solicit money to fund what we believe is another illicit business venture on the Internet that involves matching up male clients with female prostitutes,” said Linehan, a member of the district attorney’s official corruption unit.
Gristina “knowingly advanced and profited from prostitution by managing, supervising, controlling and owning, either alone or in association with others, a prostitution business,” according to the indictment, filed in Supreme Court of the State of New York.
Prosecutors haven’t accused Walker of wrongdoing or identified him publicly. He works for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the firm’s retail brokerage, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because Walker wasn’t named in the case. Fox Business Network reported his name yesterday.
Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., declined to confirm the identity of the Morgan Stanley employee or say whether that person is being investigated.
Walker has been registered with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority firms since 1988, and worked at New York- based Morgan Stanley from 1999 to 2005. He moved to Citigroup Inc. (C) before the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture between the two companies was formed in 2009, bringing him back to Morgan Stanley, according to Finra records.
“We’re investigating this matter,” said Jim Wiggins, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley. “At this point, no individual at Morgan Stanley has been charged with any crime.”
Walker has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Wiggins said. Walker said he wasn’t present during Gristina’s arrest and never did business with her, according to the website DNAinfo.com, citing an interview with the broker.
Peter Gleason, a lawyer for Gristina, said the business venture mentioned by Linehan was a proposed online dating service meant to rival Match.com, the New York Times reported.
Walker didn’t return phone calls left at his home and office yesterday, and Gleason didn’t return a call to his office.
The investigation resulted in “at least one eyewitness account” of a sexual encounter arranged by Gristina in which minors were involved, Linehan told New York Supreme Court Justice Juan M. Merchan, according to the transcript.
The indictment blanks out the name of a second defendant. Gristina, a mother of four, has business contacts worldwide, made millions of dollars and counts “many” affluent people as friends and clients, according to the transcript.
The case is People v. Anna Gristina, 751/12, New York Supreme Court (338265L) (Manhattan).