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New York man pleads guilty to securities fraud

Authorities said that a New York man pleaded guilty to securities and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud his family members and friends out of over $1.5 million.

Williams Wells, 42, pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Each of the counts carries a maximum fine of $5 million and a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Authorities said that Wells engaged in the scheme from September 2009 until his arrest on October 1, using his firm, Promitor Capital LLC, to obtain investment funds by making false claims that he had consistently achieved positive returns in U.S. equity markets. In reality, according to Bharara, Wells lost money every year, amounting to more than $500,000 in losses over six years. By September 2015, Promitor was managing less than $1,000, according to authorities.

Wells obtained over $1.5 million in investment funds from family members, colleagues and friends, using new investor funds to pay back other investors in a Ponzi-like scheme, according to Bharara.

The charges against Wells were connected to a broad coalition of agencies called the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Wells’ sentencing will be scheduled for a future date.

Securities fraud and wire fraud are complex and serious charges, and anyone accused of such a crime should seek representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Brill Legal Group has extensive experience representing defendants accused of securities fraud and all types of white collar criminal charges.

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