Investment Adviser Convicted of Stealing Client Funds
BOSTON – A Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston to orchestrating a multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme that harmed scores of victims.
Patricia S. Miller, 68, pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud after being indicted in June 2014. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for March 10, 2015.
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 she never made on 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 50 clients for these purported investment clubs. Instead of investing the money as promised, she misappropriated client funds for her own use.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
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. U.S. Attorney Ortiz also expressed appreciation for the help and cooperation her office received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pittsburgh Field Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.
If you believe you are a victim of the crimes alleged against Patricia Miller, you may contact the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts at USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov. Identified victims will receive notification through the automated victim notification system. If you have not received notification, and believe you should be included as a victim in this case, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts at USAMA.VictimAssistance@usdoj.gov.
If you are a victim from the Pittsburgh, Pa. area, please contact the Victim Witness Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania at (412) 644-3500. Pittsburgh victims may also find information online at http://www.justice.gov/usao/paw.
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. For more information about the FFETF, please visit: www.stopfraud.gov.