Texas financial planner gets prison for nearly $2 million fraud

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — A 67-year-old Houston man who worked as a financial adviser has been sentenced to federal prison for five years for defrauding clients of nearly $2 million and using the money for his personal benefit.

Lawrence Allen DeShetler pleaded guilty in June to mail fraud. Besides the prison term imposed Thursday, U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone in Beaumont ordered DeShetler pay restitution of nearly $1 million.

Federal prosecutors say DeShetler was a certified financial planner since 1988. They say in 2014 he began soliciting money from clients by convincing them they could get higher returns on their money if they allowed him to invest it. But prosecutors say he deposited the cash in bank accounts under his name and under his exclusive control and used it for personal gain.