Tyler lawyer sentenced: 10 years, $9 million in restitution

The SE Texas Record Aug. 30, 2007, 10:11am

TYLER -- A Tyler lawyer has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $9 million in restitution for wire fraud.

Michael J. Wing, 46, received his sentence Aug. 30 from U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis of the Eastern District of Texas.

Wing had pleaded guilty on April 24, 2006, to wire fraud.

According to information presented in court, Wing was indicted on April 4, 2006, on wire fraud charges. The indictment states that from 2002 to 2004, Wing lured potential investors by representing that their money would be used to purchase short-term securities from Fortune 500 companies.

Wing specifically represented that he was an international mergers and acquisition lawyer who had been retained by a Fortune 500 company, that the company was in the final stages of closing a major merger or acquisition, and that the company needed short-term financing to complete the acquisition. He told investors that he could not identify the company because of various securities laws, and therefore the companies were identified by code names, like the Higgons Group, the Baker Group and Renaissance Investments, LLC.

In some instances, Wing told investors that he was personally worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but could not invest in the short-term loans himself because of conflicts of interest rules.

The indictment identifies eight different investments in which Wing took investments from five different investors, supposedly to purchase these short-term securities from the companies.

Wing pleaded guilty to defrauding an investor identified as RB of $500,000 on or around June 4, 2004. He also acknowledged that he defrauded more than 10 victims of over $7 million.

At the sentencing hearing, the court recognized approximately 50 victims who were defrauded of $9,171,262. The Court ordered Wing to repay the defrauded investors immediately.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wes Rivers and Arnold Spencer.

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