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An Addis businessman admitted in federal court Thursday that he stole more than $250,000 from investors, acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said.

William Todd Cutrer, 52, executed the fraud scheme from January 2014 through at least November 2016 while he owned and operated West Baton Rouge Credit Inc., a lending company in Port Allen that made high-interest loans, Amundson said.

Cutrer raised capital for WBRC by obtaining lines of credit from local banks and personally soliciting investments from individual investors. He guaranteed that he would pay interest on their investments and that their funds could be redeemed at any time upon written notice, Amundson stated.

Cutrer, instead of using the funds as promised, wrote checks to himself and his family members and made interest payments to prior investors who were due interest on their principal, Amundson said.

When Cutrer failed to make the payments he owed to his victim investors, he sent them a letter falsely claiming he was having difficulty collecting payments on WBRC's high-interest loans because of the August 2016 flood, Amundson said.

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles has not yet set a sentencing date for Cutrer on his mail fraud guilty plea.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.