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Santa Monica Con Man Gets Eight Years in Prison
By Lookout Staff
March 9, 2021 -- A Santa Monica man was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in federal prison for conning four women he dated into investing more than a quarter million dollars in sham companies.
Antonio Mariot Wilson, a.k.a. “Brice Carrington” and “Dr. Tony Mariot,” 58, was also ordered to pay back the $272,000 he swindled from his victims then spent on himself.
During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson called the defendant's behavior “vicious, not only in terms of money loss to victims but the manner in which he abused the victims and the way he pursued the fraud."
“Predator is not usually a term referred to in the fraud context, but it is an apt description here,” he said.
The judge gave Wilson -- who pleaded guilty last June to one count of wire fraud -- 48 hours to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Wilson's scams unfolded between May 2015 and October 2018 after he engaged his victims -- who included actress Jenifer Lewis of the television series “Black-ish” -- in romantic relationships, prosecutors said.
Wilson met Lewis at a gym where he worked as a manager, prosecutors said. He met his other victims through "location-based dating applications such as Bumble."
Wilson lured his dates by lying about his past, telling them he was "a Navy SEAL, a graduate of Oxford University and an Oxford professor who was teaching courses at UCLA on biblical antiquities."
He then convinced them to invest in one of his sham companies -- Ultimate FX, a phony sound design business, and 2nd Life, a purported software business he claimed was "designed to provide animated instruction on applying for government benefits."
Wilson also lied about the companies, claiming ABC television network and EA Sports had used Ultimate FX for their shows and games. He also claimed 2nd Life was worth $3.2 million and that potential investors valued it at more than $30 million, prosecutors said.
Wilson then used the money his victims invested to pay off his credit card debt, pay his rent and buy luxury items, they said.
“It is the emotional impact that this crime had on his victims that makes it particularly egregious,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
Wilson "not only conned people out of their money, but he also did so by betraying their trust after forging intimate relationships with them. The impact of such a fraud is more than financial; it is personal.”
In 2009, Wilson pleaded guilty in federal court in Oakland to a "very similar scheme" carried out under the alias “Brice Carrington,” prosecutors said.
He served a four-year term in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion charges.
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