Bobby Willis Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud Conviction Arising Out of Million Dollar Fraud Scheme
ALBUQUERQUE – Bobby Willis, 45, a resident of Kirtland, N.M., was sentenced yesterday afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on wire fraud charges. The court will be scheduling a hearing to determine the amount of restitution Willis will be required to pay to the victims of his fraudulent conduct.
Willis was charged in a two-count indictment filed on Oct. 20, 2015, alleging that, from March 2010 through Aug. 2011, he executed an illegal scheme to defraud two victims out of a $1,000,000.00. According to the indictment, Willis offered the victims an opportunity to purchase a five-percent interest in a real estate investment company for $1,000,000.00 with the understanding that he and other individuals had also invested millions of dollars in the company. Willis then spent the victims’ money instead of investing the funds.
Count 1 of the indictment alleges that on Oct. 25, 2010, Willis caused $900,000.00 to be wire transferred from the bank account of the real estate investment company to his and his wife’s bank account. Count 2 alleges that on Nov. 12, 2010, Willis caused another $95,000.00 to be wire transferred from the real estate investment company’s bank account to his and his wife’s bank account.
On July 12, 2017, Willis pled guilty to the two-count indictment. In entering the guilty plea, Willis admitted meeting the victims in 2010 and devising a plan to cause the victims to give him $1,000,000.00 to invest in a real estate LLC created by Willis. Willis further admitted directing the victims to work with his associates to invest the money in a real estate company. That same real estate company transferred $995,000.00 into an account held by Willis and his wife on Oct. 25, 2010 and Nov. 18, 2010.
In his plea agreement, Willis admitted that he and his wife spent the victims’ money. Willis also admitted that he did not invest the victims’ money in any real estate, and when the victims inquired about the status of their investment, he had associates falsely assure the victims that their investment had grown in value.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Paige Messec.