A woman who billed herself as a world-class investment broker, then stole millions of dollars in what prosecutors called a classic Ponzi scheme, was sentenced on Friday to spend seven years behind bars.
Samantha Delay-Wilson, 65, pleaded guilty in federal court in February to stealing about $7.4 million from 14 investors, admitting to securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud and money laundering. She had guaranteed high rates of returns through her companies, Nona Oma Investments and Money Sources Alaska, and paid her early investors with money taken in from newer ones, according to the plea agreement. Delay-Wilson also spent the money on herself and, at one point, bought a $150,000 diamond ring, the court papers say.
Some of the money came from retirement funds the investors had saved for years, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"Financial crimes often leave the victims in financial ruin from which it may take years to recover," said FBI special agent Mary Rook, in a written statement.
On Friday, a federal court judge accepted prosecutors' recommendation of seven years in prison for Delay-Wilson. That's on top of a five-year sentence she received in state court for similar theft charges.
Restitution for victims in the federal case will be addressed at a later date, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.