A con man who preyed on the elderly is behind bars after pleading guilty to taking nearly $100,000 from unsuspecting clients in a security fraud scheme.

William Leon Fenoglio, 54, was sentenced to six years in a state penitentiary for selling improper and unregistered investments to various clients, then spending the money for his own personal use. Fenoglio was an insurance agent from Wichita Falls, where he allegedly ran the investment scheme. The case was investigated by the Lubbock office of the Texas State Securities Board, and was referred to District Attorney Jason Cashon for prosecution.

Robert Elder, with the Texas State Securities Board, said the investigation into Fenoglio began in October 2006, after receiving information from the Texas Department of Insurance. 

"TDI was investigating a complaint it had received from one of Fenoglio's clients, who alleged that he had been induced to invest in Fenoglio's insurance agency, but that Fenoglio failed to repay the investment when it was due," Elder said.

The investigation also showed that Fenoglio induced several other clients to lend money to his agency at rates of interest as high as 15 percent.  Fenoglio's insurance agency specialized in Medicare supplement insurance and other products for the senior market, and all of his victims were senior citizens.

Cashon said three Erath County residents were the victims of Fenoglio's greed.

"The most upsetting thing about this case is that Fenoglio was a predator who gained his elderly victims' confidence, then duped them out of their money," Cashon said.

Cashon said the Erath County victims lost nearly $100,000 that will most likely never be recovered.  

"He (Fenoglio) claims that he spent the money in a failing business," Cashon said.

In March, Fenoglio pleaded guilty to a similar scheme and was convicted of one count of theft against an elderly individual in Midland. In that case, Fenoglio persuaded the victim to invest $30,000 in his insurance agency for one year at 15 percent interest. Instead, Fenoglio used the investor’s funds to pay unrelated personal expenses.

In that case, Fenoglio was sentenced to six years community supervision and ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $28,500.