Ex-NC banker pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme case

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A former North Carolina banker has pleaded guilty to 18 criminal counts related to a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say defrauded about 1,200 investors.

William J. Wise pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom in California on Wednesday to felony charges including conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Over a 10-year period, Wise and a co-conspirator sold nearly $130 million worth of bogus certificates of deposit to investors.

Wise disappeared in 2009 as investigators went to his Raleigh home to seize records and property. After three years on the run, he surrendered in April to federal authorities in San Francisco.

Now 62 years old, Wise potentially faces spending the rest of his life in prison and millions in fines. He will be sentenced next year.

Source: The Associated Press