Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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August 27, 2009

Attorney General Corbett announces charges against former Harrisburg attorney and Allentown businessman in theft & investment fraud case

8.27.09 William-T-Smith.jpg 

William Trickett Smith

 8.27.09 Jerome-Kindrachuk.jpg

Jerome A. Kindrachuk

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett announced that agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation have filed charges against a former Harrisburg attorney accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the estates and accounts of senior citizens, along with an Allentown businessman accused of crafting bogus investment materials used to sell stock to seniors.

Corbett identified the defendants as William Trickett Smith, 72, 419 Susan Road, Harrisburg, and Jerome A. Kindrachuk, 64, 3535 Fox Run Drive, Allentown.

Corbett said that Smith allegedly diverted money from the sale of a 90-year old Harrisburg woman's home.  The proceeds from that $80,000 sale were intended to support the woman's medical care at a nursing home, but instead were allegedly used by Smith to pay his own personal expenses.

Additionally, Smith is accused of using false information and untrue statements to sell $5,000 in stock to a 73-year old Harrisburg woman.  The stock was for a business created by Smith and Kindrachuk and marketed using exaggerated or untrue investment materials.

Smith also allegedly withdrew approximately $12,000 from the estate of another elderly client - directing the money to himself.

"Clients believed that their estates would be administered for their care or these investments were in their best interest," Corbett said. "Instead, Smith allegedly took advantage of these seniors to benefit himself financially, aided by bogus investment materials produced by Kindrachuk."

Corbett said that Smith is charged with one count of fraudulent or prohibited practice (involving the sale or purchase of securities), a first-degree felony which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine.

Smith is also charged with two counts of theft by unlawful taking, one count of theft by deception and one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Kindrachuk is charged with one count of fraudulent or prohibited practice (involving the sale or purchase of securities), a first-degree felony which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine, along with one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Corbett said the criminal charges were filed before Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Michael J. Smith.

William T. Smith was preliminarily arraigned today and released on $25,000 bail. He was also ordered to surrender his passport and may not apply for a new passport without court approval.

Jerome Kindrachuk was preliminarily arraigned on August 17th and released on $100,000 unsecured bail.  He was ordered to notify the Office of Attorney General of any international travel plans.

Preliminary hearings for both defendants are scheduled for 10 a.m. on September 22nd, before Magisterial District Judge Smith.

Corbett said the case is being prosecuted in Dauphin County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony W. Forray of the Attorney General's Criminal Prosecution Section.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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