Niles man gets jail time for investment fraud scheme

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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NILES — A Niles man who convinced a childhood friend and the friend’s father to give him thousands of dollars to invest was sentenced to jail. 

Jacob Alexander O’Brien, 26, of Niles, pleaded guilty to attempted false pretenses over $1,000 and under $20,000 and was sentenced to 150 days in jail with credit for 31 days served and $40,448 in fines, costs and restitution. The restitution by itself totaled $40,250. 

The incident occurred Feb. 19, 2021 in Niles.  

O’Brien was also sentenced for two contempt charges for failing to appear last August and December for sentencing. He received jail terms of 30 days in jail with credit for 29 days served and 60 days in jail with credit for 31 days served. All the jail terms are concurrent. 

“I’m really embarrassed to be here, I really am apologizing,” O’Brien said. “I have every intention to pay the money back. I’m selling my car to pay for part of it.” 

“I don’t know what to make of it,” Judge Smith said. “… This is a large sum of money, you could have ruined them. I don’t think you have any thought to what you were doing. You made a contract with the victims that I don’t think you intended to honor. This is the type of behavior I see people vert to when they need easy money.”