A Santa Monica man has agreed to plead guilty to a federal fraud charge stemming from allegedly tricking multiple women, including one actress, out of their money via a romance and business scam, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California announced on Friday.
Antonio Mariot Wilson, aka “Dr. Tony Mariot” and “Brice Carrington,” 57, agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, according to a plea agreement filed in United States District Court.
According to an FBI investigation, between May 2015 and October 2018, Wilson met four women, including Black-ish actress Jenifer Lewis, with whom he started romantic relationships before allegedly conning them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for purported businesses.
Wilson — who falsely claimed to be a Navy SEAL, an Oxford University graduate and a professor teaching biblical antiquities at UCLA — encouraged his victims to invest in two businesses (one for sound design and the other software), which he said has relationships with ABC and EA Sports, according to authorities.
Wilson admitted he sold unregistered securities to one of the companies by distributing “shareholder agreements” and “stock purchase agreements” to the victims, receiving a total of $387,000. Authorities said he spent that money on personal items for himself.
Wilson pleaded guilty in 2009 to carrying out a similar scheme and served a four-year term in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Wilson now faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison upon entering his guilty plea.