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Financial adviser faces fraud charge

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A Needham woman faces a securities fraud charge in allegedly bilking a client out of $240,000 while working as a financial adviser at Merrill Lynch in Boston, according to court records. Jane E. O’Brien, 59, told an elderly Wellesley woman she was investing in thousands of shares of a New Hampshire-based company, but she was actually taking the money and using it to pay off her mortgage and settle legal fees involving a dispute with another client, according to charges filed Tuesday by the US attorney’s office in Boston in US District Court. O’Brien resigned from the company in 2011 after Merrill Lynch started its own investigation, said Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Merrill Lynch. “These transactions occurred outside Merrill Lynch accounts and were not disclosed to Merrill Lynch management,” he said.

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