You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

Thursday, November 21, 2013

“Biggest Fraud I’ve Ever Seen” Lands Mt. Carmel Accountant In Federal Prison For Ten Years

A Mt. Carmel, Ill. tax accountant began serving a10 year sentence in federal prison, on November 21, 2013, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Kevin C. Williams, 53, was sentenced on November 15, 2013, to 120 months (10 years) in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and nearly two million dollars in restitution. The sentencing judge ordered Williams to surrender today to begin serving his sentence.

Williams pled guilty on June 5, 2013. In pleading guilty, Williams admitted to having misused his trusted relationship with an elderly Mt. Carmel resident that enabled him to exert influence over the investment and distribution of her income. Williams admitted that he engaged in a lengthy scheme to defraud the victim, by stealing her money while she was alive and forging will and trust documents so that he would stand to inherit more of her money upon her demise.

Testimony at the sentencing hearing established that Williams defrauded a 96-year old victim of nearly $2 million dollars through a series of 476 identified financial transactions over the course of more than 20 years. The sentencing hearing included testimony from an IRS agent who explained how the victim reacted after learning that her once-trusted confidant was actually a con-man. The agent described that the elderly lady sobbed, trembled and said that she wished that she could just die. In a later interview, the victim described Williams’ crime as “the biggest fraud I’ve ever seen, and it happened to me.”

Williams admitted orchestrating the fraud scheme where he transferred the victim’s funds into his personal checking accounts, his personal savings accounts, his business accounts, and to pay his mortgage. Williams provided the victim with phony account statements so that she would believe that her money was safely invested when in truth much of her money had been stolen.

Williams committed money laundering by engaging in a series of financial transactions designed to deceive the victim into believing that she was receiving interest payments from investments when no such investments really existed. Williams misappropriated the victim’s money to buy cashier’s checks, but then later misrepresented those cashier’s checks to be the proceeds of her investments, when in truth and in fact no such investments existed.

According to the terms of the plea, in addition to being ordered to repay the victim $1,719,444, Williams also agreed to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $106,438, to a former employer for embezzling $38,547 and to the State of Illinois for fraudulently claiming $16,174 in unemployment benefits.

The investigation was conducted by agents from the Internal Revenue Service / Criminal Investigations, The Illinois Secretary of State Division of Securities, and the US Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.

Updated February 19, 2015