FORMER STOCK BROKER PLEADS GUILTY TO $900,000 MAIL FRAUD SCHEME
MICHAEL SYDNEY WOOTON, age 46, a resident of Metairie, Louisiana, pled guilty today in federal court before U. S. District Judge Martin L. C., Feldman to one count of mail fraud, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, WOOTON admitted that from 2006 until 2010, while he was employed as a stock broker for Western International Securities, he falsely represented to his clients that their investments would yield a high rate of return. The defendant further admitted he did not invest into high yielding bonds but directed his clients’ investment proceeds to accounts he controlled and used the accounts for his personal benefit. In order to hide this fact, he created and mailed fraudulent statements to his clients. According to the factual basis, WOOTON stole approximately $913,773 from fourteen clients.
WOOTON faces a possible maximum sentence of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and three (3) years supervised release. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 27, 2011.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. of the Financial Crimes 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