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Painter Expected to Plea in $900K Theft

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

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A Pennsylvania house painter is expected to plead guilty to bilking a couple out of nearly $1 million while doing work for them, according to local reports.

Clifton Willson, 35, of Bryn Mawr, PA, was arrested in May on charges he stole more than $900,000 from Esther and Paul Gansky between May 2014 and February 2016. According to the Chester County district attorney’s office, Willson used the money to pay for a vacation to the Bahamas and four luxury vehicles, including two Maseratis.

Mainline Media News reported Sunday (Nov. 6) that Willson’s attorney, Christian Hoey, told the judge in the case that he and his client were working with prosecutors to work out a plan for restitution, and that he did not anticipate the matter going to trial.

148 Blank Checks

According to the criminal complaint against Willson, he allegedly stole 148 blank checks from the couple over the 22-month period, forging signatures and making out checks to himself, which he deposited in multiple bank accounts. The checks ranged in value from $900 to $18,000, according to the DA’s office.

The district attorney says the victim noticed an $18,000 payment to Willson and reported it to the police in February 2016. The total allegedly stolen was $927,100.

Gavel and scales
© iStock.com / seb_ra

Willson’s attorney, Christian Hoey, told the judge in the case that he and his client were working with prosecutors to work out a plan for restitution, and that he did not anticipate the matter going to trial.

At the time of his arrest, Willson had $188,000 left in one of the accounts, according to Mainline Media News. The DA’s office reported at the time that Willson quickly repaid more than half of the money he stole.

Defendant Cooperative

“The only good news here is that the defendant and his attorney were immediately cooperative,” said District Attorney Tom Hogan. “The defendant already has made in excess of $500,000 in restitution. Acceptance of responsibility is always a factor that the District Attorney’s Office considers in the ultimate disposition of a case.”

Mainline Media News reports the case will likely be resolved with a guilty plea from Willson later this month.

   

Tagged categories: Criminal acts; Ethics; Laws and litigation; Residential contractors

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