Wilmington investment adviser pleads guilty to role in $7 million fraud scheme

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) — A Wilmington financial adviser pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with a $7 million investment fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A press release says Shawn Edward Good has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. Authorities say he faces 360 months in prison.

“We crack down on fraudsters who rip off unwitting investors,” said US attorney Michael Easley. “This investment adviser betrayed the trust of at least a dozen clients, taking more than $7 million – the money he promised would go to low-risk investments – and used it to fill himself pockets, buying real estate, luxury cars and vacations. This decade-long scam has finally come to an end.

According to court documents and information presented in court, while Good was employed as an investment adviser for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC in Wilmington, “he executed a scheme to obtain money through a fraud in investment, commonly known as a Ponzi scheme”, from 2012. to February 2022.

“Specifically, Good solicited investments from commercial clients and others for purported real estate projects and tax-exempt municipal bonds, touting these opportunities as low-risk investments that would yield returns of between 6% and 10%. % over periods of three or six months. “says a press release. “To make these investments, Good has arranged for some clients to obtain a Liquid Asset Line of Credit (LAL) secured by their Morgan Stanley investment or retirement accounts. Good instructed customers to transfer LAL funds to their personal bank accounts and then wire the funds directly to Good’s personal bank account. Other victims paid Good by paper check and wire transfers using funds from sources other than Morgan Stanley accounts.

Officials say at least 12 victims invested around $7,246,300 in Good’s scheme. Instead of investing in land development or bonds, Good reportedly used the money for personal expenses, including his Wilmington residence; a condominium in Florida; luxury vehicles including a Mercedes Benz, Porsche Boxster, Tesla Model 3, Alpha Romeo Stelvio and Lexus RX350; gastronomy; and holidays in Paris, France; Cinca Terra, Italy; Jackson, Wyoming; Las Vegas, Nevada; and other destinations.

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