In Beaumont, there is a man from Houston who is 67 years old and is being sent to prison for many years. He had formerly worked as a financial adviser and is now being sentenced for at least five years in federal prison because he has been charged with defrauding his clients of more than two million dollars. The money he defrauded his clients with was used for his own personal benefit.
Mr. DeShetler had pleaded guilty back in June to mail fraud. Aside from the prison term he earned, the United States district judge in charge of his case also ordered him to pay almost a million dollars in restitution to his clients as well. It has been found that he has been a certified financial planner since 1988. In 2014, he had began soliciting his clients and said he was able to offer a higher return for their payment if they allowed him to use the money to invest with. Instead, executors found that he only deposited that money into his bank accounts under his name for personal gain with exclusive control over the money.
Lawrence Allen DeShetler had also been a former certified investment adviser and financial planner in The Woodlands area. He had formally pleaded guilty on June 8th within the United States District Court located in Beaumont, Texas. With further investigation, it was found that he had taken over 1.9 million dollars from five clients under his planning and advisory business. His company was called DeShetler & Company Incorporated. His charges have him facing a maximum sentence of at least 20 years and the date for sentencing has not yet been set in the courts.
In a connection with his plea agreement, he will not contest the law case for the state of Texas and the official Texas State Securities board will be able to revoke his registration and license as an official investment adviser. The information which was filed in the federal court shows that he had advised his client on different investment strategies as well as financial planning strategies to help get a large return on their investments.
Back in 2014, he started pushing his clients to take out money from their accounts to give him in order to invest in other areas where they would get a higher return than they were already getting. However, instead of using the money from his clients to invest with, he instead placed that money into his personal bank account in which he had complete and sole authority over.
On June 8th, a Factual Basis and Stipulation form was filed in the United States District Court which stated that DeShetler had admitted to using those funds from one of the investors in order to begin construction on a new home for himself in Nicaragua.
One of his clients that he defrauded was an 83-year-old individual who lived in Pearl Island. He convinced this particular client to liquidate one of their existing trust accounts and transfer that money to him. He had them transfer him over $187,000 with the promise that he could earn her much better returns on her money. This particular client's husband had died in late 2015. Around May of 2016, this client had allowed DeShetler to stay in her home while she was visiting her son out of the state. When she had come back a month-and-a-half later, each of her investment documents were gone and DeShetler was nowhere to be found. This had really worried the woman and she was afraid that she would not get any of her money from her trust account back.
Consumers need to have confidence in their financial advisers. They also need to have confidence that their advisers have their best interest in mind and that they can be trusted with their money. When there is a breach of this trust, both the victim of the bad financial adviser and the public both suffer. They lose trust and then worry that the money which they invested is not being properly safeguarded by the professionals they invested their money with. The community has many professionals which they can call upon and can trust for their financial assistance needs. However, DeShetler was not one of them and he will be punished for his greediness in a justified manner according to the law.
Many organizations investigated this particular case including the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, the public safety department of Texas and many more. This case was prosecuted by Christopher Tortorice, an Assistant United States Attorney. The resolution of this fraudulent case continues to speak volumes for the commitment of the United States' attorneys office for prosecuting fraudulent criminals who tried to attempt taking away many investor's hard-earned money. Many of these investors had earned the amount they were defrauded over the course of their lifetime with hard work and diligence. No one should have to worry about one person taking away a lifetime of earnings for their own personal benefits without the consequences in which they have earned. Thankfully, in this fraud case, there was some justice for the clients of DeShetler so that they can come to terms with what they had to go through.