Michigan Broker Pleads Guilty in $1M Fraud Case

January 21, 2013

A northern Michigan insurance broker accused of manipulating elderly clients has pleaded guilty to fraud.

Prosecutors say William Lowder persuaded clients to change their investments and put money in annuities handled by his Traverse City-area office. Lowder instead enriched himself over an eight-year period and cost clients more than $1 million.

The 57-year-old Lowder pleaded guilty on Jan. 17 in Grand Rapids federal court, just a week after charges were filed. He also pleaded guilty to a tax crime.

State regulators suspended his license last year. They say Lowder took advantage of at least one client who was mentally incompetent.

Lowder says he’s broke and has been given a court-appointed attorney. He’ll get his sentence on May 29.

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