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December 11, 2013

Little Rock - LITTLE ROCK – Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced that Christopher Williams, age 33, of Bryant, plead guilty today to one count of bank fraud before United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright.

A federal grand jury indicted Williams in January 2013, alleging three counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. In pleading guilty to bank fraud, Williams admitted that after losing his job as a financial adviser at Charles Schwab in June 2012, he reestablished contact with a former client. During visits to the client’s Little Rock home, Williams obtained sensitive financial account information that he used to access the client’s online account at Bank of America and also deceived the client into signing personal checks made payable to third-party organizations under Williams’s control. Williams then used the client’s personal identifiers to create an E*TRADE online brokerage account to facilitate the transfer of money out of the client’s Bank of America account and opened credit cards in the client’s name for Williams’s own personal use. The scheme persisted until his arrest in December 2012.

Upon Judge Wright’s acceptance of the guilty plea to the bank fraud alleged in Count One, the United States successfully moved to dismiss the remaining bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges pursuant to the plea agreement. Williams was not detained. Williams faces a possible sentence of up to thirty years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million.

The United States Attorney wishes to thank Special Agent Charles M. Briscoe of the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, Special Agent Lee Wood of the United States Secret Service, and Special Agent Amy Hoffman of the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service for their extraordinary work on this investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Alexander D. Morgan is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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