CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Federal authorities have accused a North Carolina man of operating a $7 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 75 investors, using the money he gained to make mortgage payments and pay for private schools for his children.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a news release that it filed an emergency action Thursday in U.S. District Court. The complaint charges Wynn Charlebois of Charlotte and his company, WC Private, with violating antifraud provisions.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Charlebois defrauded the investors since 2019 using multiple bogus investment opportunities. Most of the victims live in the Charlotte area.
“Most recently, through WC Private, Charlebois offered investors opportunities to share in the profits earned by participating in the exercise of fictitious options contracts. In reality, Charlebois used investor funds to pay his family’s debts and personal expenses, including his mortgage payments, vacations, and private school education for his children,” according to the SEC complaint.
The complaint charges Charlebois and WC Private with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, an asset freeze, an accounting, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and civil penalties, according to the complaint.