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Mass. Financial Adviser Pleads Guilty to Stealing $3 Million

David P. Meyer, Esq.

Sean Mansfield, a West Springfield financial adviser, pled guilty this week to 17 counts of wire fraud, two counts of embezzlement, and two counts of money laundering for stealing $3 million from his clients ("West Springfield financial adviser Sean Mansfield pleads guilty to swindling $3 million from clients,", March 30, 2011). The plea was entered during his arraignment in U.S. District Court.

According to the plea agreement, Mansfield stole the money by submitting forged papers to custodian Charles Schwab & Co. The papers, submitted between April of 2008 and February of 2009, instructed Charles Schwab to deposit his clients' funds into various accounts controlled by Mansfield or other parties of Mansfield's choice. Mansfield then used $500,000 to purchase a home.

The State of Massachusetts suspended Mansfield's investment adviser's license in 2009 after Secretary of State William Galvin filed a complaint against him. Mansfield now faces up to 20 years in prison for his crimes. Mansfield has been released on personal recognizance until his sentencing date, which is currently set for Sept. 20.