Massachusetts regulators fined Merrill Lynch $500,000 for failing to supervise a broker who defrauded clients. The broker, Jane O’Brien, allegedly borrowed about $2 million from her clients. According to state regulators, O’Brien was one of the top producers in her Boston Merrill Lynch office. State regulators alleged that O’Brien’s status as a top producer contributed to Merrill Lynch’s faulty supervision. Merrill Lynch did not review her conduct until almost a week after O’Brien was indicted by the U.S. Justice Department. Since then, O’Brien resigned, was barred from the securities industry, and pled guilty to the fraud charges which resulted in a sentence of thirty-three months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $240,000.
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