Bixby Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Acquiring Almost $28,000 Worth of Commercial Products from a California Company
A man who defrauded an investor and two banks out of at least $8.4 million was sentenced Wednesday in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III sentenced William Brian Mulder, 64, of Tulsa to 84 months in federal prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay to pay $4.5 million in restitution to the investor and $3.9 million in restitution to Firstar Bank and BancFirst.
“William Mulder portrayed himself as a successful investor, trusted mentor and friend, but it was a façade. Instead, he was a con artist who defrauded his friends and banks for years in an effort to sustain a lifestyle beyond his means,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “This 7-year sentence reflects the egregious nature of the defendant’s longstanding criminal deceit. Our federal law enforcement partners are to be commended for exposing Mulder’s elaborate web of lies and ensuring justice for the victims in this case.”
“To support his extravagant lifestyle, Mr. Mulder meticulously deceived victims based in our community for years,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “Mulder’s sprawling web of lies and fraud was only untangled through the tenacious effort of FBI agents working in partnership with investigators from the IRS, Treasury Department, and FDIC. Mr. Mulder’s sentence should give pause to other con-men seeking to defraud Oklahoma citizens and businesses.”
“William Mulder used deceit and trickery to defraud trusting friends and investors of their hard-earned money,” said Christopher J. Altemus, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Dallas Field Office. “IRS-CI special agents are committed to using their forensic accounting skills to help unravel complex fraud and money laundering schemes. Today's sentencing demonstrates how federal law enforcement will band together to help put an end to the criminal behavior of those who prey on investors for their own financial gain.”
On Oct. 19, 2021, Mulder pleaded guilty to causing the interstate transmission of moneys taken by fraud and money laundering. He was set to begin trial at the time but opted to plead guilty instead.
According to court documents, Mulder misrepresented himself as worth millions to friends. Mulder told several individuals that a wealthy Missouri widow had left him over $100 million in a blind trust in appreciation for his services as an insurance salesman for the widow. In another story, he said he was the beneficiary of a different blind trust worth hundreds of millions of dollars from his father. Mulder convinced his friends that if they pooled their investments with his fortune, they could grow their money faster. The government asserted there were no investments made by Mulder on their behalf but instead, Mulder deposited checks into his personal bank accounts and used the funds to pay off credit card debts and to run a coffee shop chain.
To cover his tracks, Mulder created a web of convoluted rules and restrictions to keep the victims from seeing the progress of their investments. He also moved money between more than 60 bank accounts to make it difficult for the investors and law enforcement to follow the trail of money.
In his plea agreement, Mulder specifically admitted that beginning in 2000 and continuing through 2017, he received numerous checks totaling approximately $4.5 million from the investor, who was a local businessman and friend to Mulder. Mulder advised the victim to create a trust for his special needs son for which Mulder would be the trustee and have complete discretion and control. Mulder told the victim that he would prudently invest the funds on the son’s behalf. Instead, Mulder used the funds for his own personal expenses and to enrich himself.
Mulder also admitted that in December 2015, he fraudulently received a check from the victim in the amount of $142,500 and deposited funds from the check in the amount of $83,378.54 into his personal account, which he later used on a personal investment in generators in Missouri.
Further, Mulder admitted that he lied about his assets and submitted fabricated documents to obtain loans from Oklahoma banks in order to support a lifestyle he couldn’t afford on his own.
Prosecutors contended that Mulder applied for and received loans worth millions of dollars from five banks. From 2004 to 2014, Mulder obtained the loans by pledging phony collateral that included fictitious life insurance policies supposedly issued by Merrill Lynch that appeared to insure Mulder and his family members. Mulder used the same phony policy numbers with every new bank he swindled, adding new phony policies as he went. To secure each loan, he provided the banks with the same types of fabricated records and documents. On some of the documents, Mulder forged the signature of a former Merrill Lynch colleague. Mulder was able to pay off three of the banks by obtaining new loans from other banks. Ultimately, two banks— Firstbank and BancFirst— suffered about $3.9 million in losses.
Prosecutors asserted that Mulder further tried to impede the federal investigation into his criminal conduct by fabricating a story blaming one of his bankers for creating the fictitious life insurance policies in Mulder’s and his family members’ names. Agents debunked the claim based on the evidence that Mulder began his scheme long before he ever met the accused banker.
Mulder was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and will be transferred to a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility.
The FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Inspector General; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas E. Duncombe, Vani Singhal, and Kevin C. Leitch prosecuted the case.