Owner of Suburban Chicago Insurance Agency Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Swindling More Than $1 Million From Clients
CHICAGO — A Chicago financial advisor has been charged in federal court with swindling clients out of nearly $1.5 million by soliciting them to invest in purported movie productions.
HELEN GRACE CALDWELL, 58, of Chicago, is charged with wire fraud in a criminal information filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Arraignment has not yet been scheduled.
According to the information, Caldwell worked for a bank as a senior financial advisor. She also established an entity called Canal Productions LLC for the purported purpose of producing movies. From 2014 to 2023, Caldwell solicited various bank clients, including elderly individuals, to invest in her alleged movie productions, knowing that those funds would actually be used for her own personal benefit, the information states. Caldwell persuaded the victims to liquidate their other assets in order to fund her purported movie investments, the information states.
As a result of the scheme, Caldwell defrauded three clients out of approximately $1,480,500, the information states.
The charge was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey B. Rubenstein.
The public is reminded that an information is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.