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FA Gets 4½ Year Jail Sentence for $900K Fraud

December 8, 2017

A financial advisor has been sentenced to 55 months in federal prison for fleecing his client out of $900,000, the Chicago Sun-Times writes.

William Carlson Jr. carried out a scheme from November 2012 to February 2017 to divert money from his client’s account to an account of an unnamed friend unaware of the fraud, forged the client’s signature to move the money and sent fake account statements to her, according to a federal complaint cited by the paper. During this time, Carlson was a partner and investment advisor at a firm based in suburban Lincolnshire that the complaint doesn’t name, the Sun-Times writes.

In February this year, Carlson sent the client her brokerage statement showing $884,928 in the account while in fact there was just $48 left, according to the paper. In a conversation recorded by the FBI, Carlson admitted to the firm’s compliance officer a week later that he’d been taking out money from the client’s accounts for around five years by that point, the Sun-Times writes. Carlson then handed over a personal check for $200,000 to the compliance officer to repay the money partially and agreed to sign a promissory note for the rest of the funds, prosecutors say, according to the publication. Carlson’s firm eventually paid back the client more than $1 million for the lost funds plus lost interest and market gains, according to the prosecutors.


The SEC filed a complaint related to the fraud against Carlson at the end of February. And in August, Carlson pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to a single count of mail fraud, the Sun-Times writes. In addition to the 55 months in jail, Carlson will have to serve a year of supervised release and pay $911,000 in restitution, according to the paper. Earlier this week, the SEC barred Carlson from the industry.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Chicago Sun-Times article cited in this story, click here.