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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Friday, September 6, 2019

Newton Accountant Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Filing False Tax Return

BOSTON – A Newton man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to charges of wire fraud and filing a false tax return.

Jeffrey Kellem, 49, pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.  Kellem was charged by Information in August 2019. Sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 5, 2019. 

Kellem used his position as an accountant for an elderly client, and the estate of a deceased client, to steal more than approximately $1.6 million for his own use. Kellem transferred his clients’ funds, without their authorization, to bank accounts he opened and controlled.  He also failed to report more than $500,000 in income from the funds he took on his tax returns. As a result, in 2017, Kellem avoided paying taxes totaling more than $150,000. 

The charge of wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and forfeiture. The charge of filing a false tax return carries a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Miron Bloom of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case. 

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Updated September 11, 2019