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Massachusetts financial advisor sentenced to prison after being accused of stealing $1.2 mill from retirement accounts



BOSTON – A Middleboro financial adviser was sentenced in federal court in Boston for defrauding his elderly and otherwise vulnerable clients and stealing the victims’ retirement assets.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Justice, 67-year-old Paul R. McGonigle was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to 54 months in prison and two months of supervised release. McGonigle was also ordered to pay restitution of $652,987. In February 2023, McGonigle pleaded guilty to one count of investment adviser fraud, two counts of money laundering, three counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

“Among the highest priorities of this office is protecting vulnerable victims from pernicious fraudulent schemes. This defendant took advantage of the elderly, including individuals living with dementia and other cognitive impairments, to line his own pockets. The conduct is despicable. The judicial system has now held him accountable and anyone embarking on such conduct is forewarned that you will be investigated and prosecuted,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy.

“What Paul McGonigle did is despicable. He preyed on his elderly and vulnerable clients, betrayed their trust, and stole over $1.2 million from their retirement accounts,” said Christopher DiMenna, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Last year, investment scams cost consumers nationwide $3.31 billion, and here in Massachusetts, victims reported losing almost $76 million. This case demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to holding fraudsters accountable.”

McGonigle served as a financial adviser for the victims, many of whom were elderly, one of whom had dementia, and another who suffered a traumatic brain injury. Beginning no later than February 2015, McGonigle caused unauthorized withdrawals from victims’ annuities and induced victims to give him money to invest on their behalf, which he then used for personal and business expenses. To carry out his scheme, McGonigle posed as clients on calls with their annuity companies and signed their names on forms requesting withdrawals from their annuities. When some of his clients began to ask questions, McGonigle concealed his scheme by falsely assuring clients that their investments were growing.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy and FBI Acting SAC DiMenna made the announcement. The Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau provided valuable assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen A. Kearney of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

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