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The Father of the SEAL Who Says He Shot Osama bin Laden Served Time in Prison for Fraud


A decade ago in Montana, the elder O'Neill was sentenced to two years in prison.

You've probably heard the name "O'Neill" recently — Robert O'Neill is the "highly decorated" Navy SEAL who's claiming he was the one who shot Osama bin Laden.

Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill (Source: Twitter) Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill (Source: Twitter)

While some may be calling O'Neill a hero even as other special operations service members question his story, another man with that last name is making the news: Robert's O'Neill's father, Thomas.

A decade ago in Montana, the elder O'Neill was sentenced to two years in prison, serving time between 2005 and 2007, Vocativ reported.

His crime? Mismanaging clients' funds while he worked as a stockbroker at Piper Jaffray.

As Vocativ reported, Thomas O'Neill apparently started taking money out of stable mutual fund investments and pumping cash into risky tech stocks around 1997. When the dot-com bubble burst, he found himself out of a job — and 38 clients were out as much as $308,000.

During the time he was perpetrating securities fraud, the elder O'Neill reportedly collected roughly $200,000 in commissions and fees.

While Thomas O'Neill pleaded innocent to fraud charges, his case was high-profile enough to be part of the subject of "Fraud Under the Big Sky," a documentary aimed at warning Montana citizens of financial ne'er-do-wells.

Lynne Egan — bureau chief of the securities division of the auditor’s office who testified against O'Neill in 2005 — confirmed the O'Neill family connection, Vocativ said.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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