Monday, June 18, 2012

Anchorage Woman Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Running Ponzi Scheme

Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis announced today that Samantha Delay-Wilson of Anchorage was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 84 months in prison on her conviction of defrauding investors and lenders of over $5 million during the course of her more than decade-long Ponzi scheme. The 84-month sentence is to be served in addition to the more than five years Delay-Wilson was sentenced to serve on her separate state fraud convictions.

On June 15, 2012, Samantha Dorothy Delay-Wilson, 65, of Anchorage was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Russell Holland.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward, who prosecuted the case, the following facts provided the basis for Delay-Wilson’s guilty plea:

Delay-Wilson carried out a Ponzi scheme for over a decade, defrauding 14 individuals by making false representations and promises and by providing false documents to victims regarding investments she would make on their behalf and regarding her assets and credentials. Delay-Wilson guaranteed investors a high-rate of return and made false claims regarding how she was going to invest the victims’ money, making different claims to different victims. She told victims she would invest their money in a global investment fund, European sub-prime loans, and an investment banking service company, when, in fact, she used the victims’ money for her personal expenses, to fund her lavish lifestyle, and to pay out earlier investors.

Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis stated, “The Department of Justice takes fraudulent investment schemes very seriously and works to deter this type of conduct through prosecution. Today’s prison sentence demonstrates that those who prey on the trust of others and defrauds investors will be caught and punished.” Investment schemes happen, even in Alaska, and we all need to be alert to such fraud.”

Mary Rook, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Alaska, stated, “Part of the FBI’s mission is to identify, deter, and disrupt significant financial crime targeting individuals, businesses, and industries within the United States. Financial crimes often leave the victims in financial ruin from which it may take years to recover.”

“It can be devastating when the financial well-being of an individual falls into the wrong hands through trickery and deceit,” said Kenneth J. Hines, the IRS Special Agent in Charge of Alaska. “Victims of financial fraud schemes like this suffer emotional pain as well as a devastating financial loss.”

Judge Holland commented that the scheme lasted “an amazing length of time” because of Delay-Wilson’s ability to manipulate people. Judge Holland also noted that the offense was aggravated by the fact that the money defrauded from several of the victims was their retirement money.

Mr. Feldis commended the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Anchorage Police Department for the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Delay-Wilson.

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