Investment Adviser Charged With Stealing Client Funds
BOSTON - A Pennsylvania woman affiliated with a Massachusetts-based broker dealer was arrested today on charges that she orchestrated a massive Ponzi scheme.
Patricia S. Miller, 67, was charged in a complaint with wire fraud and arrested in Pennsylvania today.
The complaint alleges that Miller used her position as a trusted financial adviser, as well as her association with a Massachusetts-based broker dealer, to obtain money from clients for purported investments that Miller never made on their behalf. Specifically, Miller promised high returns if clients put their money into “investment clubs” called, among other things, “KS Investments” and “Buckharbor.” Miller represented, among other things, that funds put into her “investment clubs” would be placed in fixed-income notes and other investments. Instead of investing money as promised, Miller misappropriated client funds for her own personal use.
If convicted, Miller faces a maximum sentence under the statute of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
Today’s announcement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group. The interagency FFETF was created to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force, chaired by Attorney General Eric Holder, includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.