Investment Adviser Charged With Stealing Client Funds
Boston – A Pennsylvania woman affiliated with a Massachusetts-based broker dealer was indicted today in U.S. District Court in Boston on charges that she orchestrated a multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme.
Patricia S. Miller, 67, was charged with five counts of wire fraud.
The indictment alleges that Miller used her position as a trusted financial adviser, as well as her association with the Massachusetts broker dealer, to obtain money from clients for purported investments never made on the behalf of clients. 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. Miller was able to obtain over $2.5 million from more than 20 clients for these purported investment clubs. Instead of investing the money as promised, however, she misappropriated client funds for her own use.
If convicted, Miller faces a maximum sentence under the statute for each count of wire fraud 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. U.S. Attorney Ortiz also expressed appreciation for the help and cooperation her office received from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pittsburgh Field Division. The case is being prosecuted by Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
Those who believe that they are a victim of the crimes alleged against Patricia S. Miller should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts at USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov. Identified victims will receive notification through an automated victim notification system. Those who have not received notification, and believe they should be included as a victim, should contact the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office at USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov.
Residents of the Pittsburgh, Pa. area, who believe they are a victim, should contact the victim witness unit at 412-644-3500. Pittsburgh victims may also find information at http://www.justice.gov/usao/paw/.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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.