U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Travis Wetzel, age 36, of Frederick, Maryland today to 42 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a fraudulent scheme to take $1,282,224 from an elderly client’s annuity account. Judge Blake also entered an order that Wetzel forfeit and pay restitution of $1,282,224.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Wetzel processed financial distribution documents for an investment advisory firm located in Rockville, Maryland. In 2009, Wetzel was promoted to branch operations manager. According to his plea agreement, from July 2010 to September 2012, Wetzel took advantage of his position of trust and embezzled a total of approximately $1,282,224 from an annuity account of an elderly client without the client’s knowledge, and used the money for his personal benefit. Wetzel knew that the client was elderly, whose age and physical condition facilitated repeatedly taking money from the client’s account.
Wetzel also laundered some of the money he took by transferring the money to other bank accounts he controlled.