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Former Merrill Lynch adviser pleads guilty to $3M fraud

A member of the so-called Dixmoor 5 was among the victims of Marcus Boggs, who admitted he used his clients’ money for travel, expensive meals, and rent and mortgage payments.

Financial adviser Marcus Boggs faces federal charges alleging he stole millions from his clients.
Sun-Times Media

A former Merrill Lynch financial adviser based in Chicago pleaded guilty to wire fraud Friday, admitting he stole more than $3 million from multiple clients, including a member of the so-called Dixmoor 5.

Marcus Boggs, 51, entered the plea during a virtual hearing before U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland. After a prosecutor laid out the accusations against Boggs, the judge asked him if there was anything he’d want to add.

“No, I wouldn’t,” Boggs said, before entering his guilty plea.

Federal prosecutors first leveled criminal charges against Boggs in August 2019. A Merrill Lynch spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times then that all victims had been compensated. He said Boggs had worked for Merrill Lynch from 2006 until 2018, when he was fired.

Shainne Sharp also confirmed at the time that he was among the unnamed victims in a 16-page criminal complaint filed against Boggs. It listed Sharp as “Victim A.” Sharp could not be reached for comment Friday.

A lawsuit brought by Sharp, Robert Taylor, Jonathan Barr, James Harden and Robert Veal alleged that Illinois State Police teamed up with Dixmoor cops to frame the men — who were then teenagers — for the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews.

The group became known as the Dixmoor 5.

The girl disappeared after leaving her grandmother’s Dixmoor home on Nov. 19, 1991, heading home. Her body was found three weeks later in a field near Interstate 57, dead from a single gunshot to the mouth.

The 2019 complaint against Boggs explained how Sharp was awarded a $5 million wrongful conviction settlement and turned to Boggs to manage the money.

Though Sharp had thought the money would last his entire life, he told authorities Boggs contacted him in May 2018 to tell him the money was gone and his accounts would be closed. Though Sharp didn’t think he had spent the entire settlement, he said he trusted Boggs and believed him. That’s when he said he “hit rock bottom,” according to the complaint.

Boggs admitted on Friday that he used the money from Sharp and other victims to pay for international travel, expensive meals, and rent and mortgage payments. The judge set his sentencing for June 11.