“Morally bankrupt” orchestrator of Ponzi scheme Madison Financial Services gets prison sentence

Maria Nikolova

Patrick O’Connor was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering.

United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin today announces that Patrick O’Connor, 61, Waunakee, Wisconsin, was sentenced on July 30, 2019 by U.S. District Judge William Conley to 84 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering. O’Connor pleaded guilty to these charges in April 2019.

The government’s investigation revealed that between 2011 and 2018, O’Connor solicited funds from several individuals for investment in an entity he created entitled “Madison Financial Services.” As part of his solicitations, O’Connor made various material misrepresentations to investors regarding Madison Financial Services. For example, O’Connor represented that Madison Financial Services would invest all of the investors’ funds into a TradeStation online brokerage account. O’Connor represented that he would use the TradeStation account to actively trade purchased securities and he projected an average annual return on the investment of 2% a month, or 24% annually.

In fact, O’Connor used a large portion of the investors’ funds for his own personal expenses, including expenses related to his real estate development business and to repay other investors. In addition, of the funds that O’Connor actually deposited into his TradeStation accounts and actively traded, he either lost or withdrew the vast majority of the funds and rarely generated any profit.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Conley slammed O’Connor’s Ponzi scheme as “calculated and predatory” . The Judge said the total amount of money that the defendant stole was “staggering.” Judge Conley noted that O’Connor was living a lie while destroying his investors’ finances, and it was a life full of pride, hubris, and greed. Judge Conley also noted that O’Connor’s decision to take more money from investors after being interviewed by law enforcement was “morally bankrupt.”

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