Oklahoma Pair Charged with Embezzling More Than $1M From Clients

November 9, 2009

A 21-month investigation has culminated in charges against a Tulsa, Okla., attorney and a former attorney on allegations that they embezzled more than $1.1 million from clients in insurance-related cases, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson announced.

William J. Anton and Fred M. Schraeder are accused in Tulsa County District Court of racketeering, conspiracy and multiple counts of embezzlement, forgery and workers’ compensation fraud, according to the announcement from the AG’s office.

Schraeder, 59, is a Tulsa attorney and Anton, 59, is a former lawyer who surrendered his law license in 2007, but continued to practice, albeit illegally, according to the AG’s office. The pair is accused of embezzling $1,169,514.18 from clients’ personal injury and life insurance settlements and workers’ compensation benefits claims. Of that amount, the state alleges Anton is solely responsible for embezzling slightly more than $1 million and Schraeder helped him embezzle about $155,000 more.

Anton was arrested by attorney general investigators and officers from the Tulsa Police Department. Schraeder was not in custody as of Oct. 5.

“Our criminal information details allegations accusing these defendants of embezzling various amounts from multiple clients over a five-year period,” Edmondson said. “In one count, we accuse Anton of embezzling almost $250,000 in life insurance benefits from a single client.

Both men face one count of racketeering and conspiracy to commit a felony. In addition, Anton faces 39 counts of embezzlement, five counts of uttering a forged instrument and three counts of workers’ compensation fraud. Schraeder faces eight counts of embezzlement, four counts of uttering a forged instrument and three counts of workers’ compensation fraud.

Source: Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office

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