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Morgan Stanley broker linked to 'madam' on leave


gristina Credit: Anna Gristina, 44, of Monroe, N.Y., at hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court on March 6./Newsday

Morgan Stanley confirmed Thursday it has placed one of its brokers on temporary leave, after Manhattan prosecutors said he rendezvoused with the alleged madam who was at the center of an Upper East Side prostitution ring.

Authorities arrested the woman, suburban mom Anna Gristina of Monroe, N.Y., on prostitution charges last month. She pleaded not guilty.

During her arraignment, prosecutors said Gristina, 44, was arrested after allegedly meeting a Morgan Stanley employee at one of the firm's Manhattan offices to discuss an online site for matching male clients with female prostitutes.

Walker was first identified as that employee on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley said Thursday that he is on suspension until an investigation is completed. The financial giant declined further comment.

A source familiar with the matter said Thursday that Walker has denied any involvement in any illegal activity. An internal Morgan Stanley probe has so far found no evidence to the contrary, nor has the firm found any evidence of involvement by other employees, the source said.

Walker has not been charged with a crime.

On Wednesday, Walker told that Gristina had "many other connections" at Morgan Stanley.

Gristina's lawyer, Peter Gleason, could not be reached for comment.

Gristina, who allegedly made $10 million over the past 15 years, remains jailed on Rikers Island on $2 million bail.

(with Reuters)

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