Canadian lawyer, William Wise, 64, who once operated the Millennium Bank in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), has been sentenced to almost 22 years in prison by a California judge for his part in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 1,200 people out of more than 75 million US dollars.
According to Caribbean News Now, after three years on the run, Mr. Wise gave up himself to US authorities.
He was charged with running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of more than 75 million dollars.
Mr. Wise was indicted on 12 counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count each of money laundering and conspiracy to commit fraud.
He was sentenced on February 4th, 2015, after pleading guilty to the charges in September 2014.
A statement issued by US Justice Department officials said the scheme, which dated to at least 1999, involved the sale of financial instruments known as certificates of deposit (CDs) issued by Millennium Bank, United Trust of Switzerland and Sterling Bank and Trust.
Millennium Bank was a bank licensed in St Vincent and the Grenadines and was represented by Wise to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Trust of Switzerland, which was purportedly a cash rich private financial services company in Switzerland.
Court documents reveal that Mr. Wise spent about 50 million dollars himself, purchasing, among other things, a private plane and a luxury property in St Vincent and the Grenadines.