SHERMAN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — A North Texas man was found guilty of several crimes related to a fraud scheme that included the murder of a man in Carrollton, officials said Wednesday.
Keith Todd Ashley, 50, of Allen, was found guilty on Oct. 5, 2022 by a jury of wire fraud, mail fraud, carrying a firearm in relation to a violent crime, and bank fraud after a week-long trial in federal court.
According to court documents, Ashley was a registered nurse also working as a financial advisor and life insurance agent when he began stealing money from his clients in 2016. He told his victims he would manage and invest their money, but instead used the funds to pay other clients, keep his brewery open, and pay for personal expenses.
In May 2016, Ashley started stealing money a Carrollton man who entrusted him with his investments. Over time, Ashley transferred the funds into his own accounts and even changed the beneficiary of the man’s life insurance policy to a trust he owned.
Then, on Feb. 19, 2020, the client was murdered. Ashley tried to stage the man’s death as a suicide and even collected on his victim’s life insurance policy. Ashley also transferred money out of the man’s bank account into his own and tried to get a copy of the victim’s autopsy report.
Ashley was indicted by a grand jury on Nov. 12, 2020 and charged with several crimes, including wire fraud, mail fraud, and firearms violations.
“Ashley went to great lengths to defraud clients that trusted him,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston, whose office handled the case. “By plotting and causing the death of one client to steal his money, Ashley committed the ultimate betrayal of trust and decency and the jury saw Ashley for who he is, a con-artist who would go so far as murder to get what he wanted.”
Ashley now faces up to life in prison.