Former lawyer faces sentencing for swindling from clients

New Haven Federal Court

NEW HAVEN  — A former Fairfield attorney is facing sentencing for swindling more than $824,000 from his clients.

John O’Brien is scheduled to learn his fate Monday in federal court in New Haven. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud in December.

Federal prosecutors say O’Brien stole money from four clients between 2011 and 2014 by using funds from one client to pay off debts owed in connection with his representation of other clients. Prosecutors also say he used client funds for personal expenses, including tuition for one of his children at a private high school.

Prosecutors say O’Brien should go to prison for about three to four years. O’Brien’s lawyer says he should serve no longer than 18 months in prison.

O’Brien resigned from the state bar in 2015.