United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2007 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538
CELL: (409) 553-9881
TYLER LAWYER SENTENCED FOR WIRE FRAUD
TYLER, TX -- United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 46-year-old Tyler lawyer has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison ordered to pay $9.1 million in restitution for wire fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.
MICHAEL J. WING had pleaded guilty on April 24, 2006 to wire fraud. He was sentenced today by United States District Judge Leonard Davis.
According to information presented in court, Wing was indicted on April 4, 2006 on wire fraud charges. The indictment states that from 2002 to 2004, Wing lured potential investors by representing that their money would be used to purchase short-term securities from Fortune 500 companies. Wing specifically represented that he was an international mergers and acquisition lawyer who had been retained by a Fortune 500 company, that the company was in the final stages of closing a major merger or acquisition, and that the company needed short-term financing to complete the acquisition. Wing told investors that he could not identify the company because of various securities laws, and therefore the companies were identified by code names, like the Higgons Group, the Baker Group and Renaissance Investments, LLC. In some instances, Wing told investors that he was personally worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but could not invest in the short-term loans himself because of conflicts of interest rules. The indictment identifies eight different investments in which Wing took investments from five different investors, supposedly to purchase these short-term securities from the companies.
Wing pleaded guilty to defrauding an investor identified as RB of $500,000 on or around June 4, 2004. Wing also acknowledged that he defrauded more than 10 victims of over $7 million. At the sentencing hearing, the Court recognized approximately 50 victims who were defrauded of $9,171,262. The Court ordered Wing to repay the defrauded investors immediately.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Wes Rivers and Arnold Spencer.
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