William Kevin Harrison, a former Wachovia securities broker, has been sentenced to over six years (78 months) in prison for stealing more than $7 million of client money for personal use. He has also been ordered to pay $8.41 million in restitution.
Harrison's sentence brings closure to a case that began in February 2010, when he was charged with devising and implementing an investment scheme designed to defraud more than two dozen account holders and Wachovia Securities out of millions of dollars. He pled guilty to federal mail fraud charges on Feb. 8, 2010.
For a period of just over three years, Harrison secretly withdrew funds from his clients' brokerage accounts and IRAs, and either deposited the funds into an account he opened under his wife's name or used the money for personal purchases, according to a DOJ news release issued by the office of the United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Most of the money ($7 million) was lost through speculative investments. Harrison used the rest of the stolen funds to build a new house, to purchase cars, and to pay for other personal expenditures. When the defrauded clients questioned Harrison about the transfers, he lied to them and said their funds had been deposited into new accounts opened under their names and would be deposited back into their regular accounts at a later time.
His sentence will begin on Sept. 16.