A former Merrill Lynch & Co. financial adviser, Marcus Boggs, was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to defrauding clients of $3 million, according to local news reports in Chicago.
Boggs, 51, was arrested a year ago at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago prior to boarding an international flight, according to a statement by the Department of Justice at the time, which also noted that one of the victims was a man who received approximately $5 million in a wrongful conviction settlement.
Boggs pleaded guilty to wire fraud in March, and on Thursday was sentenced to 42 months in prison, and ordered to pay restitution of more than $3 million to his victims, according to a report by CBS Chicago.
Boggs was a broker at Merrill Lynch in Chicago from 2006 to 2018, according to his BrokerCheck report. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. barred him from the securities industry in 2019, and a year later he was barred by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“We fired Mr. Boggs in December 2018 after an internal investigation found he stole client funds and made unauthorized transactions,” a Merrill Lynch spokesperson wrote in an email. “We notified the appropriate authorities and have cooperated with their investigations. Consistent with our policy, Merrill Lynch notified affected clients and has reimbursed them.”
Prosecutors said Boggs spent the money on international travel, expensive dinners and on multiple apartments in Chicago, according to the news reports.
U.S. district judge in the northern district of Illinois, Mary Rowland, on Thursday told Boggs he was “just living high — just living way, way, way beyond your means. And that’s just wrong,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
According to the Sun-Times report, before he was sentenced, Marcus Boggs told the judge: “I’ve dishonored myself and my reputation” and “what I did was wrong, there is no excuse.”
“Words can’t express how immensely sorry, remorseful and overcome with shame I am,” Boggs said.
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