Former Winooski Attorney to Serve Prison Time for Misusing Client Funds

Brattleboro, Vt. - United States prosecutors say a former Winooski attorney pled guilty to mail fraud at United States District Court in Brattleboro.   

Officials say William O’Brien, 60, of Winooski was charged with one count of mail fraud for defrauding two of his former clients. 

According to a media release, in one case O’Brien was the trustee of a trust that was supposed to be used for charitable contributions in memory of the his clients.  Prosecutors say he did use some of the trust funds for charity but he also moved to his law firm account. 

According to prosecutors, in another case O’Brien used client funds for charity for his own benefit. 

Officials say in 2016 O’Brien did repay money back to his two clients but only after he learned the Vermont bar was investigating the incidents.   

A media release says O’Brien had his law license suspended in January of 2016 and was disbarred by the Vermont Supreme Court in December. 

Prosecutors say O’Brien was sentenced to serve 14 months of prison by U.S. District Judge J. Garvan Murtha, he was also ordered a one-year term of supervised release after he finishes his prison term and has to pay back $19,699.

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