Securities Fraud Nets Las Vegas Man Five Years in Prison

Secretary of State Ross Miller’s Securities Division led investigation of securities scam

Post Date:01/15/2013

Contact: Catherine Lu, Public Information Officer 
             (702) 486-6982 / 334-7953 

(Las Vegas, NV; January 15, 2013) – The Clark County District Court sentenced Thomas O’Donnell to five years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $78,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to one count of securities fraud.

A previous resident of Las Vegas, Nev., O’Donnell is alleged to have illegally offered or sold securities, using the internet to promote the investment. He was extradited to Las Vegas from a Florida prison on a warrant issued June 20, 2011. As well as the sentencing, O’Donnell must also pay more than $15,000 in fees related to the investigation.

In a similar but unrelated case, Mark D. Jones was sentenced in December 2012 to four years in prison without probation on one count of theft related to securities fraud. He was also ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution, plus expenses related to the investigation, and he has been banned from the securities industry. Jones was arrested in Pagosa Springs, Colo. on February 23, 2010 and extradited to Las Vegas to face the charges investigated by the Nevada Secretary of State.

A third securities fraud investigation led by the Secretary of State’s Office resulted in Robert Burke of Hurst, Tex. pleading guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime. He was arrested in Tarrant County, Tex. on October 26, 2010 and extradited to Las Vegas to face charges. Burke failed to appear at the sentencing and a bench warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The Nevada Attorney General’s Office served as the prosecuting agency for all three cases.

Secretary Miller urges investors to learn the warning signs of investment fraud and independently verify any investment opportunity, as well as the background of the person and company offering the investment. “The Securities Division can provide detailed background information about licensed individuals who sell securities or give investment advice, and verify the registrations of the products being offered. Investors should do business only with licensed brokers, investment advisers, and issuers complying with the law and should report any suspicion of investment fraud to us.”

Additional information on how to protect yourself from investment fraud is available on the Secretary of State’s website, The Securities Division’s telephone number is (702) 486-2440.

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