Arlington Man Gets Probation for Investment Fraud Des Plaines Woman Bilked out of $70,000 in Securities Scheme

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Byline: Teresa Mask Daily Herald Staff Writer

An Arlington Heights man was sentenced to 30 months' probation Friday and ordered to pay $64,000 to a Des Plaines woman he defrauded.

William C. Grabowski, 54, of 209 S. Arlington Heights Road was spared jail time after paying $45,000 to the woman Friday. He still has to repay the remaining $19,000.

He pleaded guilty to one count of investment fraud.

"I expect his ability to pay was a big consideration in the judge's decision. We were expecting at least three years (jail time)," said Dave Finnigan, senior enforcement attorney for the Illinois Securities Department. "What we try for is jail time or getting the money back - or both."

Grabowski took $70,000 of the Des Plaines' woman's money while acting as her personal accountant. He told the woman her money would be invested in an "Earnings Enhancement Program" offered by William Ronald McAtee and McAtee and Associates.

In January, McAtee, 51, was sentenced to three years in prison after it was determined he was not licensed to sell securities but had entered into two "joint venture agreements" with the Des Plaines woman starting in January 1997.

He pleaded guilty to defrauding the Des Plaines woman, who has a disability.

She was promised a 5 percent rate of return on her investment and was told it was guaranteed by Prime Bank. …