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Ex-Merrill Lynch Exec Pleads Guilty

May 31, 2000

BOSTON (AP) _ A former vice president of Merrill Lynch who bilked clients out of more than $5.5 million has been sentenced to two years in prison without parole and ordered to repay the money.

Donald J. Martineau, 56, of Tewksbury, who also served as senior financial consultant for Merrill Lynch in Boston, pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud in February.

U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock on Tuesday ordered Martineau to repay $5,521,045. Martineau’s prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release. He has already agreed to be barred for life from work as a stockbroker.

Martineau could have been sentenced to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each conviction.

From November 1989 to August 1998, federal prosecutors said, Martineau defrauded clients, including two brothers-in-law.

Prosecutors said Martineau convinced clients to invest funds through him, diverted the money, then lost nearly all of it through risky trading of stocks and options. Merrill Lynch fired Martineau in August 1998.

Merrill Lynch has said the transactions were never disclosed to the company and did not appear in the company’s accounts.

In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the filing of civil fraud charges against Martineau.

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