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Report: Mexico's Monex investigating $40M in missing client funds

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Report: Mexico's Monex investigating $40M in missing client funds

Monex Casa de Bolsa SA de CV Monex Grupo Financiero is investigating allegations that an employee was involved in a $40 million fraud scheme mostly targeting American clients based in the Mexican municipality of San Miguel de Allende, Bloomberg News reported.

Marcela Zavala Taylor, a banker who worked at Monex for about 20 years, allegedly sent clients falsified bank statements that showed full account funds, according to a dozen clients interviewed by Bloomberg.

However, when the clients inquired about fund transfers that did not go through in December 2018 and January 2019, Monex officials told them that about $40 million in funds were missing from up to 158 accounts, according to the report.

Some of the clients claim Monex attempted to reach settlements for far below the amount of funds that went missing from their accounts. Others reportedly say the bank asked them to file charges against Zavala.

"Legal action is continuing in the case, and details cannot be disclosed so as not to hinder the investigation," Monex said in a statement. Company representative Eva Gutierrez said Monex is working with affected clients and has settled with 70% of them.

Monex Casa de Bolsa, which is an affiliate of Banco Monex SA Institución de Banca Múltiple Monex Grupo Financiero, has $5.2 billion in assets and operations in the U.S., Bloomberg noted.

According to Mexico's Condusef consumer protection agency, 7.3 million fraud complaints were filed in the country in 2018, more than double the number in 2014.