John O’Brien, an ex-attorney who had practiced law in Fairfield, was sentenced to three years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding his clients of more than $950,000.
O’Brien, who pleaded guilty in December to one count of wire fraud, was charged with defrauding four of his clients between April 2011 and June 2014 to pay off professional debts and to cover personal expenses, including the private high school tuition for one of his children. The clients impacted by O’Brien’s actions included a terminally ill woman and a couple who took out a reverse mortgage. He resigned from the Connecticut bar in June 2015.
O’Brien faced a maximum term of 20 years and a fine of up to approximately $1.6 million. In announcing the sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall also called on the federal government to submit a proposed restitution order against O’Brien.