LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed criminal charges against a Saginaw woman for her alleged role in impeding an investigation into an extensive Ponzi scheme. M. Viktoria Wilson, 24, of Saginaw has been charged with one count of Lying to a Police Officer During the Investigation of a Crime, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
Wilson is the wife of Joel Wilson, 30, of Saginaw, who was charged criminally by Schuette’s office in January of this year for operating a Ponzi scheme and has fled the country. “Scam artists who defraud Michigan citizens, particularly senior citizens, think they can run but they cannot hide from the law,” said Schuette. “We are working to secure justice for the Michigan victims and families affected by this scam.”
Beginning in 2009, it is alleged that Mr. Wilson scammed investors through his operation of The Diversified Group Advisory Fund LLC, an investment company. Mr. Wilson allegedly told investors that he would use their funds to purchase distressed properties in the Saginaw area and Bay City areas. The properties would later be refurbished and sold for profit, which would go to investors. When funds Wilson collected from the sales of the unregistered securities failed to turn a profit, he allegedly used new investor funds to pay returns to previous investors – the trademark of a Ponzi scheme. In addition, Mr. Wilson allegedly pocketed approximately $47,000 of the investment funds to pay his personal expenses and acquire personal assets. The following nine charges were filed against Mr. Wilson in Bay City District Court on January 8, 2013:
- One count of Continuing Criminal Enterprise (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison;
- Three counts of Sale of Unregistered Securities, a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison;
- One count of Larceny by Conversion ($20,000 or more), a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison;
- One count of Larceny by Conversion ($1,000-$20,000), a felony punishable by up to five years in prison; and,
- Three counts of Fraudulent Sale of Securities, a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Arrangements are being made for Wilson to surrender to the proper authorities. Once he is in custody, an arraignment date will be set. Citizens who believe they may have been victims of Joel Wilson or The Diversified Group are encouraged to file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office at www.michigan.gov/ag by clicking “File a Complaint.” A criminal charge is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.