Michael Wilson has pleaded guilty to wire fraud. The 30-year-old former New York businessman bilked investors of over $10M in just two years through fake investment companies.
Wilson was indicted of 47 criminal counts, including money laundering, conspiracy, and wire fraud, in 2010. He was accused of trying to bilk investors between June 2008 and July 2010. Through the fraudulent investment companies, he persuaded other companies and individuals to invest in financial instruments that supposedly guaranteed returns and high-yield earnings.
In court this week, Wilson admitted to targeting rich, sophisticated investors. Some of his clients invested up to $250K as part of their initial investments.
However, instead of investing their funds as promised, Wilson used the money to pay for a number of expenses, including numerous pricey and luxurious cars, a $2.5M down payment on a real estate property, and other items. The indictment said that Wilson paid an actor $1800 to pose as someone named George Possiodis, which is the same name as his own alias.
After Wilson found out that he was under investigation, he went to Canada where he also has citizenship. He was arrested there in 2013 but challenged his extradition back to the US. Prior to a hearing scheduled in Canadian Court, he and his mother, wife, and dogs fled to Vietnam in February 2016. He was extradited to the US in December.
Now, Wilson will have to pay $5.2M in restitution. He is awaiting his prison sentence.
Last year, Daniel Rice, a retired police detective, pleaded guilty to wire fraud involving Wilson’s multi-million-dollar investment scam. He admitted to persuading a broker to invest $100K with Possiodis. Rice kept $40K of that money and gave the remaining balance to Wilson.
In 2013, Wilson’s brother, William Wilson, pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge. He admitted to helping his brother commit one of his fraud crimes.
Even high-net, sophisticated investors can sustain huge losses when they become the victim of investment fraud. At the SSEK Partners Group, we are committed to helping investors in trying to get back their funds. Contact one of our securities fraud attorneys today.
BLJ: Former hedge fund trader pleads guilty to wire fraud, BizJournal, June 21, 2017
Hamburg Man Extradited From Vietnam On Fraud Charges, Justice.gov, December 9, 2016
Retired Boston Police Officer Detective Pleads Guilty For His Role In An Investment Fraud Scheme, Justice.gov, March 30, 2016