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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mansfield Man Sentenced To Nearly Four Years In Prison For $1 Million Fraud

 A Mansfield man was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for fraud and insurance embezzlement, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Willard C. Lee, 52, previously pleaded guilty to 12 counts of wire fraud and one count of insurance embezzlement.

Lee, who was employed by the Allstate Insurance Company between 1996 and 2011, admitted that he embezzled approximately approximately $1 million 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.  Once fraudulent paperwork was submitted, Lee had the proceeds wire-transferred into bank accounts he controlled in Mansfield, according to court documents.       

U.S. Districy Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Lee to 46 months in prison and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $1,052,559.80 to Allstate, along with a special assessment amount of $1,300.00. 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James V. Moroney, following an investigation by the Mansfield and Canton offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Investigative Services Unit of Allstate Insurance Company.  

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Updated March 12, 2015