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Investment banker sentenced for embezzling from aunt

A Buffalo investment banker who embezzled nearly $29,000 from his aunt and her husband was sentenced to nine months in jail by Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

James Jones III, 31, who was working as an investment broker, was given $28,966 to invest on behalf of his aunt and her husband in June 2015, the District Attorney's Office said.

Jones refused to provide a status update on the couple's investment, despite requests by them, prosecutors said.

The District Attorney's Office said a bank account was opened in the name of Jones' aunt and a check was deposited in the same amount Jones' aunt and her husband had provided to Jones. Then wire transfers moved the money into an account in Jones' name, the District Attorney's Office said.

Prosecutors said Jones spent the funds on gambling and personal items.

Jones, identified by the District Attorney's Office as a prior felony offender, pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny in June.

Jones pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny and second-degree identity theft in two other cases. He was sentenced to five years probation in 2017 for his conviction in those cases, the District Attorney's Office said.

Jones was ordered to make restitution for having embezzled $72,434 from clients, which he will be required to pay back, the District Attorney's Office said.

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