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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Niagara Falls Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars From Investment Firm Clients

CONTACT: Barbara Burns   
PHONE:       (716) 843-5817 
FAX #:          (716) 551-3051  

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Jennifer Campbell, 47, of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty to wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas A. C. Penrose, who is handling the case, stated that Campbell was employed as the Office Manager and Chief Compliance Officer at an investment advisory firm based in Buffalo, with access to client accounts. Between November 2018, and May 2021, Campbell used this access to steal over $500,000 from several clients and from the firm itself, primarily by writing checks from client accounts, forging the signatures of either the client or a principal at the firm, and then depositing the checks into her own personal account.

Campbell took various steps to conceal her theft. In one instance, she sent a victim a falsified account statement that purported to show an account balance of approximately $148,000, when in fact the account at the time had a balance of only $93. In another instance, Campbell took funds from a client and transferred them to the bank account of one of her earlier victims. Finally, Campbell gained access to the email accounts of the firm’s principals and diverted emails that they received from anti-money laundering and financial crimes personnel at the firm’s broker-dealer, who had begun to raise questions about some of the transactions that Campbell had engaged in. In an effort to put off these inquiries, Campbell sent several emails using the email account of a firm principal. In these emails, Campbell made various false statements and submitted fake documentation in an effort to make the transactions appear legitimate.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas Fattorusso, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Michael Stansbury.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 27, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Vilardo

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated November 10, 2022