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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Newton Accountant Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Filing False Tax Return

BOSTON – A Newton man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for embezzling $1.6 million from elderly clients and failing to pay taxes on the embezzled funds.

Jeffrey Kellem, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to 42 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,289,002 and a fine of $250,000. In September 2019, Kellem pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.

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.

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 today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Miron Bloom of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit prosecuted the case. 

Since President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA) into law, the Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases that targeted or disproportionately affected seniors. In particular, this past March the Department announced the largest elder fraud enforcement action in American history, charging more than 260 defendants in a nationwide elder fraud sweep.  The Department has likewise conducted hundreds of trainings and outreach sessions across the country since the passage of the Act.  

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Tax
Component(s): 
Updated December 6, 2019