BOSTON – A Needham woman was sentenced today for defrauding a financial advisory client in connection with a bogus securities investment.
Jane E. O’Brien, 60, of Needham, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton, to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution and forfeit of $240,000. In December 2012, O’Brien pleaded guilty to securities fraud.
O’Brien, a former financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (Merrill Lynch), offered her client an opportunity to invest $240,000 in an interest-bearing note, convertible to stock in a privately held software company. In fact, the investment opportunity was a sham; O’Brien kept the money for herself, and used it to pay personal expenses. O’Brien also borrowed approximately $1.7 million from the client, in violation of securities industry rules and Merrill Lynch’s own internal policies, and paid back only a fraction of that amount.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen E. Frank of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.