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Case Number: 4:20-cr-00318
Judge: Amos L. Mazzant
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Grayson County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Sherman
Description: Sherman, Texas criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with Wire Fraud and Attempted Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud and Attempted Mail Fraud, Carrying or Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence or Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence causing Death/ Murder by Robbery, and Attempted Bank Theft and Bank Theft.
Keith Todd Ashley, 51, was found guilty by a jury of wire fraud, mail fraud, carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and bank fraud in October 2022.
Beginning in 2016, Ashley, a registered nurse who also began working as a financial advisor and life insurance agent, started stealing money from his clients. Ashley promised his clients he would invest their money in financial products but instead used the funds to pay other clients, to keep his struggling brewery in business, to pay his personal bills and to fund a lavish lifestyle. In May 2016, Ashley began stealing investment funds from a Carrollton man. This scheme included transferring the client’s money into his personal accounts and changing the beneficiary of the man’s life insurance to a trust controlled by Ashley. The scheme eventually resulted in the Feb. 19, 2020, murder of the client, which Ashley attempted to stage as a suicide. Even after the client was killed, Ashley went through elaborate steps to collect on the life insurance policy, transfer funds from the victim’s bank account to himself, and attempt to obtain a copy of the victim’s autopsy report. Ashley was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 12, 2020, and has been charged with various federal violations, including wire fraud, mail fraud and firearms violations.
“Today’s sentence brings a sense of relief and justice to the victim’s family and friends, who have endured pain and grief as a result of the defendant’s horrific actions,” said U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs. “Mr. Ashley’s actions of defrauding and ultimately taking the victim’s life is reprehensible and indefensible. I’m grateful to our local and federal law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly on this case. Their dedication was essential in bringing this defendant to justice.”
“Keith Ashley funded his lavish lifestyle and attempted to rescue his failing business by robbing his clients of financial security, and when that wasn’t enough, he robbed one of his life,” said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough. “Many local and federal resources came together to seek justice for the victims, and our hope is that today’s sentence can bring continued healing to the families and friends who will be forever impacted by the greed and deceit caused by the defendant.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Frisco Resident Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, and the Carrollton Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Rattan and Jay Combs and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Fine.
Outcome: The sentence imposed is Life. The term consists of 240 months on Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; 240 months on Counts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 20; Life on Counts 18 and 19 of the 4th Superseding Indictment. The Court orders that Counts 1-6 run consecutively to counts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,1 4, 15, 16, 18, and 19, and Count 20 to run consecutively to all other counts. This sentence is to run concurrently with any sentence imposed in Docket Number F2100109, 195th District Court of Dallas County, Dallas, Texas. Restitution totaling $1,715,249.05 to the victims. Fine waived, interest waived, special assessment of $1,700, which is due and payable immediately- $100 per count of conviction. Supervised release for a term of 5 years. This term consists of terms of 5 years on each of Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 18, and 19, and terms of 3 years on each of Counts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 20, all such terms to run concurrently.