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Needham woman faces federal investment fraud charges

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  March 3, 2014 12:06 PM

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A Needham woman was indicted in federal court last week for allegedly bilking her investment clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over nearly two decades, according to US Attorney Carmen Ortiz's office.

While working as an investment adviser at Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney between 1995 and 2013, Jane E. O'Brien, 61, allegedly took clients' investment funds and used the money for her own personal use, according to the US Attorney's office.

O'Brien allegedly convinced several clients to empty their investment accounts and give the money for her to personally invest, which she never did, the US Attorney's office said. She allegedly told one client to borrow $1 million against her home and give the money to O'Brien to invest, and told another client that she would invest for them in a Hollywood movie called "Crooked Arrows," prosecutors said.

O'Brien faces eight counts of charges, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and investment adviser fraud. She is currently serving a nearly three-year sentence after she pleaded guilty in December 2012 to swindling $240,000 from a former client. She was sentenced in May.

If convicted of the latest charges, O'Brien faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of mail and wire fraud, and 5 years for investment advisor fraud, as well as hefty fines.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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