Paul G. Murphy, a former vice president of Putnam Investments of Boston, was convicted of one count of conspiracy for his part in aiding another Putnam employee in illegally wire transferring $78,909 from an internal Putnam account to another account at the Vanguard Group in Malvern, Pa. in October of 1999, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's office.

U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern announced last week the conviction of Murphy, who conspired with Robin Kelly, formerly an assistant vice president at Putnam, to steal the money and split their take.

Murphy distracted a third employee, a support services worker, long enough for Kelly to alter an e-mail from a Putnam manager so that it appeared to authorize a wire transfer of the $78,909, according to Stern. Shortly after the wire transfer took place, Putnam realized the fraud had occurred, notified the FBI and fired Kelly and Murphy.

Murphy faces up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced on June 20, according to the statement. Kelly pled guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud in federal court in July.

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