Stephen Severio of Fair Haven was charged with theft by deception and related offenses in an indictment handed up Thursday by a Monmouth County grand jury.
Prosecutors say Severio stole the money while working at Merrill Lynch's office in Red Bank.
Severio allegedly persuaded 26 investors to withdraw funds from their Merrill Lynch accounts and reinvest the money through him. Prosecutors say he kept it instead.
If convicted on all charges, Severio could face up to 35 years in prison.
A phone listing for Severio could not be found. His attorney, public defender Donna Wrenn, could not be reached after business hours Thursday.