Mt. Carmel Accountant Indicted for 40 Counts of Alleged Fraud and Money Laundering for Financially Exploiting an Elderly Victim
A Mt. Carmel resident was indicted by the federal grand jury on January 8, 2013, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Kevin C. Williams, 52, was indicted for 35 counts of wire fraud and five (5) counts of money laundering.
The Indictment alleges that Williams developed a personal relationship with an elderly Mt. Carmel resident that enabled him to exert influence over the investment and distribution of her income. The Indictment charges that Williams engaged in a lengthy scheme to defraud the victim, by stealing her money while she was alive and altering her will and trust documents so that he would stand to inherit more of her money upon her demise.
Williams is charged with wire fraud for 35 separate financial transactions related to a series of thefts where he obtained a total of $1,521,169.34 from the victim. He is alleged to have transferred her funds into his personal checking accounts, his personal savings accounts, his business accounts, and to pay his mortgage. Each count of wire fraud is punishable by not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, and/or a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release.
The first money laundering count charges a transaction in which Williams stole $15,000 from the victim that was deposited into his personal savings account. He is alleged to have engaged in a subsequent financial transaction in which he used more than $10,000 of the proceeds of that theft to transfer money into a separate business account. This offense is punishable by not more than 10 years’ imprisonment, and/or a $250,000 fine, and not more than one year of supervised release.
The remaining counts of the Indictment charge that Williams provided the victim with phony account statements so that she would believe that her money was safely invested when in truth much of her money had been stolen. The remaining money laundering counts allege that Williams engaged in a series of financial transactions designed to deceive the victim into believing that she was receiving interest payments from investments - when no such investments really existed. The Indictment alleges that Williams misappropriated the victim’s money to buy cashier’s checks, but then he misrepresented those cashier’s checks to be the proceeds of her investments, when in truth and in fact no such investments existed. This type of money laundering is punishable by not more than 20 years’ imprisonment, and/or a $500,000 fine, or both and not more than three years of supervised release.
Williams was arrested and subsequently arraigned in US District Court on January 10, 2013, at which time the Indictment was unsealed. His trial is scheduled to begin on March 11, 2013.
The investigation is being conducted by agents from the Internal Revenue Service / Criminal Investigations, the Illinois Securities Department, and the US Department of Labor. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven D. Weinhoeft.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, that charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.