For Immediate Release - July 06, 2009

Framingham Man Indicted in Connection with Allegedly Stealing nearly $780,000 From Local Non-Profit Organization

WOBURN - A Middlesex Grand Jury has returned indictments against the former accountant of a religious non-profit organization charged in connection with allegedly stealing money from the organization and using it for his own personal use. William O'Brien, age 58, of Framingham, is charged with Larceny over $250 (11 counts), Larceny by Continuous Scheme (2 counts), Failure to File Income Tax Returns (5 counts), Forgery, and Uttering.

In October 2008, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after O'Brien's alleged activities had been reported by the non-profit organization. In 2000, the non-profit, which is also linked to a local university, contracted with an outside financial management firm to handle its accounting and bill paying duties. O'Brien was hired in 2003 by the financial management firm and was also assigned that same year to handle these duties for the non-profit organization. In his accounting duties for the non-profit, O'Brien was not to have signatory power over writing checks in the name of the non-profit; rather he was responsible for preparing the payments and documenting them. After the director of the non-profit received a call from American Express stating that his corporate account would be closed because it had not been paid, the director conducted an internal investigation and discovered that O'Brien had allegedly been diverting payments from the corporate account of the non-profit to another account in his name. The matter was then referred to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation. Investigators discovered a second scheme used by O'Brien in which he set up another fraudulent account and deposited checks which he wrote from the non-profit into the account. O'Brien then allegedly used that money for his own personal use, buying items such as tickets for trips and sporting events. Authorities allege that between 2003 and 2008, while working as a contracted financial manager for the non-profit, O'Brien stole nearly $780,000 from the non-profit's accounts.

A Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against O'Brien late last week. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Rick Grundy, Chief of Attorney General Martha's Coakley's Criminal Bureau, and was investigated by Financial Investigator Jessie Dean and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office.

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