Metro-East News

Glen Carbon man sentenced after second set of fraud charges

A Glen Carbon man was sentenced June 9 in a six-count fraud case.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois sentenced Kenneth J. Lee, 54, to 42 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after Lee pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, criminal contempt of court, mail fraud, making false statements and aggravated identity theft charges.

The court also ordered Lee to pay $525,000 in restitution to victims from his fraud schemes, according to a news release.

This sentence comes more than 10 years after Lee pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on charges of mail fraud and failing to file taxes. Lee was imprisoned and ordered to pay more than $580,000 in restitution to the victims of his “Ponzi” scheme. He also served three years of supervised release.

But after Lee was released from prison, he violated the order to repay his victims by not reporting income and assets that should have been used to pay his restitution.

As he pleaded guilty for the most recent charges, Lee told the court from April 2006 to July 2015 he used various entities, names and ruses to disguise business dealings and assets. He spent assets from his business and financial dealings on personal expenses, and created false documents and statements, failing to comply with his previous restitution order. On at least one false document, Lee used the name of a prior victim without their permission, leading to the aggravated identity theft charges.

“The victims of this defendant have waited over 10 years for their savings to be paid back by a man who has worked tirelessly to continue his deception and fraud against his victims and the government’s efforts to get their money back,” said Karl Stiften, special agent in charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “This prosecution is a sign that the victims, regardless of how much time has passed, are not forgotten, and that the men and women who investigate, and prosecute these cases will continue to work tirelessly to seek justice for them.

“Those who engage in this type of fraud should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable.”