BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A West Baton Rouge Parish businessman will spend more than three years in prison for an investment scheme that defrauded people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
US Attorney Brandon Fremin said William Cutrer, 52, of Addis, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison by US District Judge John deGravelles. Cutrer was also ordered to pay back $502,035. 09 in restitution to his victims. He will also be placed on two years of supervised release once he gets out of prison.
Court records show Cutrer pleaded guilty in October 2017 to mail fraud.
"Financial crimes and investment fraud remain a high priority for this office, especially when the defendant abuses a position of trust to defraud his victims," Fremin said in a written release. "The people of this district need to have confidence that professionals, not criminals, are properly managing their hard-earned living. We are pleased to see Cutrer's scheme ended and Cutrer brought to justice for his lengthy fraudulent scheme. Special thanks to the FBI and the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions for their outstanding efforts in this case."
Officials said Cutrer owned and operated West Baton Rouge Credit, Inc. in Port Allen. It was a lending company that made high-interest loans to individual customers. According to the court, Cutrer guaranteed to pay the interest on the victims' investments but instead wrote checks to himself and his family members. The official court documents also state he used the money to make payments to prior investors who were due interest on their principal.
Officials added when Cutrer failed to make the payments he owed his victims, he sent them a letter with false claims that he was having trouble collecting payments on the loans due to the August 2016 flood.