A former Merrill Lynch hybrid advisor in Chicago has been arrested for an alleged multimillion-dollar fraud whose victims included a man who received about $5 million in a wrongful conviction settlement and another who sold his home to invest in the scam.

Marcus E. Boggs, 49, was arrested Thursday at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago as he was getting ready to board an international flight, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois. He was ordered to be retained in federal custody without bond by a U.S. magistrate judge on Monday.

The complaint said Boggs, between 2009 and 2018, stole at least $2 million in client funds, transferring the money to his personal American Express credit card to pay his mortgage, travel to "lavish" international destinations and pay for other personal expenses.

Boggs worked as a broker and investment advisor at Merrill Lynch's Chicago office from 2005 to December 2018, when he was dismissed by the company after it uncovered the fraud, according to authorities.

Finra BrokerCheck records also show that in 2018 Merrill Lynch paid out about $5.6 million in settlements to clients who allegedly fell victim to the scheme.

Among Boggs's victims was Shainnie Sharp, who was one of five Chicago teens to spend 20 years in jail after being wrongfully convicted of the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in a case known as the "Dixmoor 5", according to a Chicago Tribune report. Sharp was exonerated in 2011 through DNA analysis and eventually was awarded $5 million in a settlement of his wrongful conviction lawsuit.

"[Sharp] invested some of the settlement funds with Boggs’s firm on the understanding that Boggs would manage the money and ensure that he had enough funds for the rest of his life," the U.S. Attorney's Office press release said. "Boggs instead stole approximately $815,000 from the man’s accounts to pay personal credit card debt."

Sharp, who was identified only as Victim A in the complaint, told FBI investigators that he and his wife sometimes socialized with Boggs and described him as "very charming," the complaint said.

Sharp also told the FBI he “hit rock bottom” due to the loss of the wrongful conviction settlement funds, the complaint said.

Another victim sold his home and invested the sales proceeds with Boggs, prosecutors said. "When the value of his accounts began decreasing, Boggs misrepresented that it was due to fluctuations in the stock market," the U.S. Attorney's Office release said. "In reality, Boggs had used approximately $127,000 from the man’s accounts to pay personal credit card debt."

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