Suburban financial advisor sent to prison for fraud

Updated 12/7/2017 1:45 PM

A Deerfield financial adviser was sentenced Tuesday to 55 months in a federal prison on allegations he stole more than $900,000 from a client to fund personal expenses.

William P. Carlson, 54, must also pay $911,000 restitution, under the sentence handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman. Carlson, who according to court documents was a partner in a Lombard-based investment firm that also had an office in Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to a mail fraud charge in August.

A federal complaint filed this year alleges that between November 2012 and about February 2017, he devised a scheme to defraud a client "by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises."

According to the complaint, Carlson made false representations to the client about the status of her account, falsely represented to his company that she had authorized disbursement of funds from her account, and forged her signature on checks and documents.

Federal officials began investigating Carlson in February, after the client checked on the status of her account and learned it held only $48, court documents state.

When questioned, Carlson admitted taking money from the client's account for about five years to fund his lifestyle, court documents state.

"You know, it starts out small ... You think you are going to pay it back," Carlson said, according to the federal complaint.

Carlson told investigators he took money from the client's account because she did not pay close attention to it. He denied defrauding any other clients, court documents say.

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