Federal prosecutors announced that a New York woman was sentenced to prison for stealing from an investment firm and its clients, Financial Advisor reports.
48-year-old Jennifer Campbell of Niagara Falls was sentenced to serve 36 months behind bars and was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $371,332.11. Campbell pleaded guilty in November to a single count of wire fraud. She was office manager and chief compliance officer for an investment firm based in Buffalo, a position that gave her access to client accounts.
Campbell allegedly used her access to steal over $500,000 from several clients and the firm from November 2018 to May 2021. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Campbell wrote checks from client accounts, forged the signatures of clients or a principal at the firm, and deposited the checks into her personal account.
According to prosecutors Campbell took various steps to conceal the theft, including sending a false account statement to one victim that showed an account balance of about $148,000 when the account only had a balance of $93.
When investigators at the firm’s broker-dealer began raising questions about her potential fraud, Campbell allegedly gained access to the email accounts of the firm’s principals and diverted emails that had been sent regarding her transactions. She also used the accounts to send emails containing false statements and documents to make her conduct appear legitimate, prosecutors said. A complaint filed by the SEC said Campbell intercepted phone calls from company personnel trying to reach the firm, adding that when an anti-laundering officer called, she used voice-altering software to impersonate one of the principals for the firm.
Authorities did not identify the company she worked for, but it was later identified as Pratt Collard Buck Advisory Group.
Lewitas Hyman routinely represents investors harmed when financial professionals and their firms engaged in misconduct that caused their clients investment losses. Our team includes lawyers who have worked for large financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services, and regulatory bodies such as the SEC. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form for a no-cost evaluation of your matter.