CHESHIRE — A local man pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud after investigators said he misappropriated over $600,000 from an elderly client’s investment accounts.
Matthew Clason, 39, of Cheshire, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Wednesday in Hartford federal court and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 5. He is currently released on bond.
Clason was an investment advisor and a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation, according to a statement from Tom Carson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut. Starting in 2015 Clason provided investment services for a 73-year old client, Carson said. The client had at least five accounts with Clason and in January 2018 they opened a joint bank account.
From 2018 through August 2020 Clason transferred more than $668,000 from the client’s investment accounts into the joint bank account, Carson said. Without the client’s knowledge or authorization, Clason withdrew more than $621,000 in cash for his personal use, Carson noted. Clason transferred $5,000 from the joint account to his personal account and made two transfers to pay his personal credit card.
Clason faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for the charge.
In announcing the guilty plea, Justice Department officials encouraged senior citizens to report suspected fraud to the National Elder Fraud Hotline. The hotline is staffed by experienced case managers who can provide personalized support to callers.
Case managers assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed. When applicable, case managers will complete a complaint form with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for Internet-facilitated crimes and submit a consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of the caller. The toll free number for the hotline is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).