April 21, 2009

Wise Millennium Bank probe ongoing

U.S. investigators said they are still investigating the Wise Millennium Bank and its founder William Wise, who allegedly ran an $80 million Ponzi scam.

Civil suits have been filed in Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina and investigators in Kentucky have forwarded results of an investigation to an FBI team in Raleigh, N.C., the Raleigh News & Observer reported Tuesday.

Sheriff's investigator Shawn Bean in Kentucky said we're up to four reported victims, with losses of a million dollars each. There's a 78-year-old gentleman who lost his life savings, Bean said.

No criminal charges have been filed yet, but the Securities and Exchange Commission said more than 350 investors bought worthless certificates of deposit from the bank that operates in the island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The receivers are working with international and domestic financial and criminal authorities as investigations into William Wise and all other defendants continue, said Richard Roper, a former federal prosecutor who has been appointed to oversee the investigation, the newspaper said.