Wilmington investment advisor pleads guilty for role in $7 million fraud scheme

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A Wilmington financial advisor pleaded guilty Thursday in connection to a $7 million investment fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A news release states that Shawn Edward Good pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. Officials say he faces 360 months in prison.

“We are cracking down on fraudsters who scam unwitting investors,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This investment advisor breached the trust of at least a dozen clients, taking over $7 million – money he promised would go to low-risk investments – and used it to line his pockets, buying real estate, luxury cars, and vacations. This decade-long scam has finally come to an end.”

According to court documents and information presented in court, while Good was employed as an investment advisor for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC in Wilmington, “he executed a scheme to obtain money through investment fraud, commonly known as a Ponzi scheme,” from 2012 to February 2022. 

“Specifically, Good solicited investments from business clients and others for purported real estate projects and tax-free municipal bonds, touting these opportunities as low-risk investments that would pay returns of between 6% and 10% over three- or six-month terms,” a news release states. “To effectuate these investments, Good caused some clients to obtain a liquid asset line of credit (LAL) secured by their Morgan Stanley investment or retirement accounts. Good directed clients to transfer the LAL funds to their personal bank accounts and then wire the funds directly to Good’s personal bank account. Other victims paid Good by paper check and wire transfers using funds derived from sources other than Morgan Stanley accounts.”

Officials say at least 12 victims invested approximately $7,246,300 in Good’s scheme. Instead of investing in land development or bonds, Good reportedly used the money for personal expenditures including his Wilmington residence; a condominium in Florida; luxury vehicles including a Mercedes Benz, a Porsche Boxster, a Tesla Model 3, an Alpha Romeo Stelvio, and a Lexus RX350; fine dining; and vacations to Paris, France; Cinca Terra, Italy; Jackson, Wyoming; Las Vegas, Nevada; and other destinations.

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