Anchorage woman charged with $7M Ponzi scheme

Posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011

ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage woman is facing federal charges that she operated a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $7 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Dorothy Samantha Delay-Wilson, 64, was named in a 26-count indictment. A grand jury in Anchorage indicted her for securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud and bank fraud.

She was arrested Friday, said Daniel Wardlaw, a special agent and spokesman for the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle field office.

Prosecutors say Delay-Wilson carried out the scheme from 1996 to 2009, guaranteeing investors a high-rate of return and making false claims regarding how she was going to invest the victims’ money. They say she told victims she would invest their money in a global investment fund, European subprime loans and an investment banking company.

Prosecutors say she used the victims’ money for her personal expenses and to pay out early investors. The indictment alleges that she fraudulently obtained money, ranging from $25,000 to around $3.7 million, from 14 victims.

According to the indictment, she defrauded her victims by making a series of false promises and false representations about her background and experience as well as her financial position and assets.

Delay-Wilson could face a total maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $5 million fine or both, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Steward.

Delay-Wilson has been active in the Anchorage business community, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

In the 1990s, Delay-Wilson bought into Alaska Builders Cache, a building supply business which fell apart in the late 1990s. She was convicted at the time in state criminal court of scheming to defraud, the newspaper reported. She also altered life insurance documents to obtain a $500,000 loan that she didn’t repay, it reported.

The indictment alleges that she made false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding regarding her assets. She filed for bankruptcy last June, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.

The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and the Anchorage Police Department.

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