Man accused of swindling thousands from investors

2014-03-25T20:14:00Z 2014-03-26T20:16:13Z Man accused of swindling thousands from investorsElvia Malagon, (219) 933-3246

HAMMOND | A Porter County man is accused of swindling investors from their life savings and retirement accounts. 

William D. Cantrell Jr., 59, was charged in federal court Tuesday and is accused of creating a fake investment fund that from January 2010 to November 2013 raised $1.08 million from various investors, according to a complaint.

Cantrell's fund, The Dragon Fund LP, was created in 2007 and was based out of Valparaiso, according to the Indiana secretary of state's website. The fund was not registered or a legitimate hedge fund, according to court records. 

According to the complaint, Cantrell was arrested last week in southern California and accused of trying to break into the home of one of his former investors who had filed a civil lawsuit against him. Police found Cantrell passed out with a knife on the woman's porch.

He faces charges of burglary, stalking and carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's website. He remained Tuesday in the San Diego Central Jail on a $1 million bond.

The investor Cantrell is accused of stalking invested from 2010 to 2012 $853,076.02 of her savings and money from her individual retirement account, according to the complaint.

In March 2013, the woman requested a $120,000 distribution of her money from the fund, according to the complaint. The woman told investigators Cantrell told her he would send her a cashier's check but instead received a package in July with a stock quote. She received another package from Cantrell on July 19 that had a blank piece of paper.

Another woman invested $80,000 in the Dragon Fund, according to court records. 

The complaint states that Cantrell sent his investors false statements while he was transferring $831,271.90 from the fund to his personal bank account. He also withdrew $234,579.80 by taking out about $5,000 each month, the complaint states. 

Cantrell told investigators he lost the money from the fund in the stock market, made payouts to investors and used some of the money to gamble, according to the complaint. In 2012, the Dragon Fund had a balance of $20.62 and Cantrell's personal account had a balance of $47.16 as of September.

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