File Photo | United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

A Deerfield man is among three suspects facing federal charges after prosecutors say they swindled investors, including a children’s charity, out of almost $4 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said Lee S. Rose, 82, of Deerfield; Edward L. Wooten, 51, of Macon, Georgia; and John L. Krcil, 55, of Hanover, Minnesota, claimed to work for a Wyoming investment company called Black Lion Investment Partners Inc.

The trio, beginning in 2019, falsely suggested to investors that they could earn substantial returns by participating in so-called “private placement” trading programs involving “investment grade fixed income securities” of “top-rated” banks or financial institutions, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

The defendants fraudulently claimed that their trading programs yielded multi-million-dollar investment returns within short periods of time, the indictment said.

They also allegedly claimed that investor funds would be returned if the programs failed to perform within 60 days.

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The charges said that the defendants failed to use all investor funds to conduct trades, did not pay any trading profits to investors and did not return all investor funds as promised.

The trio used investor funds for their own benefit, the indictment said. Six investors, including an Oklahoma children’s charity, suffered losses totaling approximately $3,905,000.

Wooten, Rose and Krcil were charged with wire fraud and interstate transfer of money taken by fraud.

Wooten and Rose are additionally charged with money laundering and making false statements.

Wooten was also charged with making false statements to the FBI, while Rose was charged with making false statements to a federal judge, the FBI and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.