For almost five years, he defrauded his investor clients. Now a Marietta stockbroker has been sentenced to five years behind bars for taking more than $1.4 million from clients for his own purposes, from Super Bowl tickets to mortgage payments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Sean Kelly, 50, has been sentenced to federal prison for wire fraud and securities fraud after pleading guilty to stealing from his clients. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, from January 2014 through October 2018, he had been a stockbroker and investment adviser who purported to provide tax planning, insurance brokering, and other financial services to his clients. Kelly advised his victims to invest in various ways, including through private placements, annuities, investment funds and real estate investment trusts.
Kelly instead took his victims’ money and used it for personal expenses, including vacations and significant cash withdrawals, ultimately stealing more than $1.4 million from at least 18 clients. In October of last year, closely following the filing of a lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a warrant based on Kelly’s fraud and arrested him. Information on Kelly’s case provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office was provided by federal charges, court documents and U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak,
“Kelly never intended to fulfill his fiduciary responsibility to his clients, which included elderly citizens and veterans,” Pak said in Friday’s news release. “As thieves like Kelly continue to try avoiding detection and covering their fraudulent methods, we will continue to catch them and prosecute them. We encourage people to thoroughly check out anyone that promises to shepherd their investments.”
At his sentencing, the court found that Kelly’s fraud injured vulnerable victims, including the elderly and veterans.
“While it is easy to dismiss financial fraud cases as being almost benign because of their lack of violence, there is, however, a very real victimization felt and lives are changed forever,” said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, in the same news release. “The FBI is hopeful that Kelly’s sentence will send a strong message to anyone who would try to take advantage of unsuspecting clients for their own personal greed.”
Kelly was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,457,043.99. Kelly was convicted on these charges on Jan. 4 after pleading guilty.
The case was investigated by the FBI. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission contributed to this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Huber, deputy chief of the Complex Frauds Section.