Troubleshooter Consumer Alert: High school dropout poses as broker
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A woman who said she dropped out of school in the 9th grade admitted to defrauding about $800,000 from unsuspecting investors.
She was able to build on lies, but will now be heading to prison. The woman in the case stole the identity of a high ranking banking official and then used her sales background to develop a sophisticated web of lies and deceit.
21-year-old Amy Brook Wilkerson gave investment advice to clients. The problem was, she has no financial background.
Vivian Guerrero, a U.S. postal inspector, said, “She assumed the identity of a well-known international banking firm official.”
Postal inspectors said Wilkerson was very convincing. She educated herself through the use of the internet with the language, with the verbiage, with the terms used typically in investing in the stock market. To the point where she duped a lot of victims and took their money.
Twenty victims lost more than $800,000. The victims were very surprised that they were being defrauded. They all commented on how articulate the person was.
Postal inspectors emphasized the importance of due diligence and research, “I would urge people to look up the information themselves and not go by what they are being told,” said Guerrero.
Wilkerson pleaded guilty to 29 counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. She was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison and ordered to pay almost $500,000 in restitution.