News and Press Releases

Pilot Mountain Resident Sentenced On Mail Fraud Charges

July 25, 2011

Greensboro, N.C. – WILLIAM KEVIN HARRISON, 33, of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, was sentenced to seventy-eight (78) months imprisonment on federal mail fraud charges and ordered to pay $8,411,863.00 in restitution to Wachovia Securities LLC through its successor, Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, announced Ripley Rand, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Harrison, a former senior financial advisor in the Mount Airy, North Carolina, office of Wachovia Securities, was charged in an information filed in the Middle District of North Carolina on February 3, 2011, with devising a scheme to defraud Wachovia Securities and its account holders during the period March 2005 through July 2008 by withdrawing a total of $8,411,863.00 from the accounts of twenty-six clients assigned to Harrison without the permission or knowledge of either Wachovia or the clients. The funds were withdrawn in amounts of $100,000 or more from both brokerage accounts and Individual Retirement Accounts. Whenever clients questioned Harrison about the withdrawals reflected on their monthly statements, he falsely assured them that the funds had been deposited into other accounts opened in their names at Wachovia Securities and would be redeposited later into their regular accounts.

Harrison deposited approximately $7 million of the funds taken illegally into an online brokerage account he opened in his wife’s name at OptionsXpress in Chicago and lost all of it after trading in options and other speculative investments. Harrison used the remaining funds he took from the accounts of his clients at Wachovia Securities to construct a new residence, purchase automobiles, and cover other personal expenses. Harrison, through his attorney, brought the thefts to the attention of Wachovia Securities in October 2008 and submitted a letter of resignation. Wachovia Securities then reimbursed the twenty-six clients for the funds taken illegally from their accounts.

Harrison pled guilty on February 8, 2010, when the federal charges were filed, and was sentenced on July 22, 2011, in Greensboro, North Carolina, by United States District Court Judge William L. Osteen, Jr.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Harry L. Hobgood.

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