FORMER STOCK BROKER CHARGED WITH STEALING OVER $900,000
MICHAEL WOOTON, 45, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, was charged in a one-count bill of information with mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the bill of information, beginning in 2006, WOOTON, a stock broker with Western International Securities, devised a scheme whereby he falsely represented to his clients that he would invest their money in bonds returning between 15 and 20% per year. It is alleged that instead of investing their money as promised, WOOTON either invested the money in high risk options or simply stole the money. In order to conceal the thefts, he created fraudulent monthly statements which were mailed to his clients. According to the bill, the total loss to the victims was approximately $913,773.00.
If convicted, WOOTON faces a possible maximum term of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three (3) years supervised release.
U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that a bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. of the Financial and Computer Crime Unit.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org