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Ponzi scheme suspect agrees to plead guilty

November 15, 2007

A Newport Beach man accused in a Ponzi scheme has agreed to plead guilty to charges of federal fraud and money laundering, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

John Carl Willy, 64, is accused of running a phony investment business, promising investors a return of 10% a quarter or more.

The charges filed Monday include two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

Willy has agreed to plead guilty to all three counts, prosecutors said.

The maximum sentence for those counts is 50 years in federal prison.

According to his plea, Willy scammed investors out of nearly $4.2 million, prosecutors said.

During that time he was able to use funds to keep his operation afloat, purchase a home in Newport Coast, and buy a Cadillac Escalade and Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle, prosecutors said.

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Willy is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 3.

— Daniel Tedford


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