DA: Man Stole $900K From Farm to Buy Luxury Cars, Bahamas Trip
Clifton Willson worked part-time as a painter at a farm in western Chester County. He was fired from that job earlier this year, when police began investigating his involvement in an alleged criminal scheme.
Today, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced Wilson had been charged in the theft of more than $927,100 from a farm in Willistown Township. He used the money, Hogan says, to buy two Maserati vehicles, a Porsche SUV, a Land Rover, a rental home and a family vacation to the Bahamas — among other things.
“The defendant took advantage of his position of trust,” Hogan said in a release. “He stole checks, forged the victim’s signature, and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars all because of simple greed.”
The criminal complaint contains numerous details on what the $927,100 was allegedly spent on. Willson is accused of spending $27,000 on vacations and other trips; $16,000 on jewelry from Tiffany’s, Cartier and Louis Vuitton; more than $20,000 on electronics; more than $168,000 on cars at Porsche, Land Rover and Maserati dealerships; $20,000 on PHEAA student loans and $177,000 on a rental property in Newtown Square.
The victims, the owners of the Hartwood Farm, first noticed an unauthorized check for $18,000 made out to Willson in February 2016. They notified the police. Chester County Detectives and Willistown cops say they discovered he stole 148 blank checks from the farm, forged the victim’s signature and deposited the checks into his various personal accounts. The checks varied between $900 and $18,000.
Willson, 35, lives in Bryn Mawr. He was a painter at the farm between May 2014 and February of this year.
“The only good news here is that the defendant and his attorney were immediately cooperative,” Hogan said. “The defendant already has made in excess of $500,000 in restitution. Acceptance of responsibility is always a factor that the District Attorney’s Office considers in the ultimate disposition of a case.”
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