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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mansfield Man Indicted For Theft Of $1 Million

A Mansfield man was indicted on charges that he embezzled more than $1 million from an customer annuity accounts at an insurance company where he worked, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Willard C. Lee, age 51, was indicted on one count each of insurance embezzlement and wire fraud.

Lee was employed by Allstate. The indictment alleges that Lee embezzled approximately $1,056,000 from Allstate customer annuity accounts between July 2007 and December 2011. Lee forged customer signatures on withdrawal requests to Allstate and Lincoln Benefit Life, a company wholly owned by Allstate, which sells annuities, according to the indictment.

Once fraudulent paperwork was submitted, Lee had the proceeds wire-transferred into bank accounts he controlled in Mansfield, according to the indictment.

The case was presented for indictment by Assistant United States Attorney James V. Moroney following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation;’s Mansfield office, who in turn were following up an investigation by the Investigative Services unit of the Allstate Insurance Company.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of
factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s
role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not
exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a
fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 12, 2015