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News: Former Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney Investor Given Extra Jail Time

Former Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney investment advisor, Jane O’Brien, has once again been given time in prison for engaging in almost twenty years of securities fraud. She has been given an additional 45 months of jail time.

Originally, on December 12, 2012, O’Brien had pled guilty to one count of securities fraud. She had sold a client a security that did not exist and had profited $240,000 because she did not actually invest the money.

Because of the fraud, the former investment advisor was charged with: 

  • 33 months in prison
  • 3 years of supervision upon release
  • Owes $240,000 in reparations

Along with the sentencing, O’Brien is also barred from working with brokers, dealers, as an investment advisor, etc. She was incarcerated during the time that her conviction was extended.

On April 30, 2015, O’Brien further pled guilty to three counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and two counts of investment adviser fraud. She had been defrauding investors for over twenty years, between 1995 and 2013. Often times, the former investor would lie to unsuspecting clients, reassuring them of investment plans, while not pursing those commitments. With one client, O’Brien advised them to withdraw the full sum of their Smith Barney account and borrow an additional $1 million dollars to invest in a company she thought was ideal.

Unfortunately, O’Brien did not actually invest her client’s money. Instead, she used it to fund her personal lifestyle, offer older clients lulling payments, and use the money to pay back personal loans. The investors never saw their money get invested.

O’Brien was given additional prison time for her two-decade fraud scheme. On August 7, 2015, Judge Nathanial M. Gorton extended her sentencing.

O’Brien’s new sentence includes: 

  • 45 months in jail
  • 2 years of supervision after release
  • $825,000 in restitution to victims
The information contained in The Firm’s posts on its blog, fraud alerts, investigations or elsewhere on the site is based upon information obtained from other sources including, but not limited to, news outlets and federal, state, and regulatory agency filings. All suspects and subjects of postings herein are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law or administrative action and any and all crimes are alleged until a court or regulatory agency finds otherwise .

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