Town of Palm Beach News

William Minor Ordered to Pay $1.6 Million

A former volunteer for a charity in Palm Beach is being required to pay back $1.6 million to the non-profit he defrauded during his decades-long scam targeting the organization’s pension plan, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

William H. Minor, 70, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud for stealing from the Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults in a complicated scheme that began in 1991, according to federal court documents. In November, Minor was sentences to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks ordered Minor to pay $1.6 million in restitution to the charity formed as the Crippled Children’s Society in 1940 to fight polio. The charity is located on Royal Palm Way and offers physical, occupational and and speech therapy.

The center claims that the theft was in the range of $5.8 million and left nearly 30 former employees without the retirement money they’d been promised. 

Minor also damaged the charity’s good name, said attorney J. Cater Randolph, president of the center’s board, in a November hearing. 

“He put our reputation at risk,” Randolph told Middlebrooks. “We’re working to rebuild our trust with our donors.”

Minor, who volunteered to oversee the center’s pension plan and served on its board of directors, operated a West Palm Beach-based investment company called Multi Financial Insurance Corp.

According to records, Minor lied to the charity that his firm was in partnership with Transamerica Life Insurance and Annuity Co., which held the pension account. Minor then submitted requests to Transamerica for lump sum pension payments that former employees were supposedly eligible for. 

William Minor Ordered to Pay $1.6 Million

But the employees were not eligible, and Minor would lie or forge a signature so that Transamerica would issue a check that Minor would then keep.

In 2011, Minor opened a bank account in the name Trustee for the Rehabilitation to make it easier for him to cash the benefit checks. Minor deposited about 48 checks into the account and never issued them to the former employees. 

For years, Minor created false documents to show that the charity’s pension was in good shape. The scheme collapsed in 2016 when the charity discovered there was only $1200 in the pension fund only months after Minor told the IRS there was $972,000 in the accont. 

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According to a lawsuit the center filed, the fraud was obvious. In one nine-month period, Minor requested $160,000 in multiple lump-sum payments for one former employee. In another case, he received $1 million in payments for an employee who made $44,000 annually and had only worked at the center for 12 years. 

In letters to Middlebrooks before his sentencing, Minor’s wife and son describe him as a man passionate for baseball, who coached his sons in the game and attended his daughter’s dance practices and recitals.

“Never in a million years would I have imagined the secret life he had been living,” Minor’s wife, Kathleen Minor wrote in a November letter.

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Alanna Barrett

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