The former chief compliance officer of a New York-based investment adviser faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to wire fraud in federal court.

Jennifer Campbell was indicted in June on 23 counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York. She will face sentencing in February after pleading guilty Nov. 9.

Campbell, who worked as office manager and CCO at the unnamed investment adviser, was accused of misusing her access to client accounts to modify account settings and misappropriate client funds. She carried out her misconduct between November 2018 and May 2021 by “writing checks from client accounts, forging the signatures of either the client or a principal at the firm, and then depositing the checks into her own personal account,” according to the Justice Department.

In one example included in her indictment, Campbell sent a victim a falsified account statement showing a balance of approximately $148,000 when the account had a balance of about $90.

Campbell was also charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June for violations of multiple securities laws related to her misconduct. To cover her tracks, she created fake documents, hacked into her colleagues’ email accounts, and used voice-altering software to impersonate her colleague on the phone, according to the agency’s complaint.

Campbell’s scheme, as alleged by the SEC, was uncovered when she began concealing her actions by intercepting emails from a broker-dealer to one of her firm’s principals questioning unusual transactions. When the broker-dealer terminated the relationship, her employer confronted her, and she admitted certain aspects of her misconduct.

The SEC’s ongoing complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.