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Prosecutors: Accountant Bilked Clients Out Of $2 Million

Money (CBS)

Money (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A certified public accountant from Vernon Hills stands charged with bilking his clients and a bank out of more than $2 million.

Accountant Jeffrey B. Travis, 50, who runs the Deerfield firms Gross & Travis Ltd. and Travis and Associates Inc., is charged with five counts of bank fraud and three counts of mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors say between 2002 and 2009, Travis took checks from his clients and sent them to vendors, retirement programs and tax authorities, rather than sending the checks where the clients intended. He also took at least 668 client checks and dropped them in his own account at U.S. Bank, sometimes altering the checks to increase the amounts, prosecutors said.

Travis then withdrew the money and spent it on himself, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Travis could also face a prison sentence that would exceed a natural lifetime, and fines of $5.75 million.

Federal prosecutors also want restitution of $2,034,848, which Travis allegedly took in through the fraud scheme.