Financial Advisor to NFL Players Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud
A financial advisor who defrauded investors, including quarterback Michael Vick among other NFL players, plead guilty to securities fraud in Nebraska. Mary Wong’s Ponzi scheme involved convincing investors they were investing in real estate across Arizona, Tennessee and Michigan, as well as Gallup bonds. Prosecutors claim many of the investments did not exist. The more than $3 million Wong received from investors went to pay off earlier investors, as well as allow her to purchase expensive planes and homes while paying off business and personal credit card debt.
As part of a report on the Michael Vick saga, ESPN identified Wong as the person in charge of Vick’s finances following his dog-fighting scandal and subsequent bankruptcy. Vick gave Wong power-of-attorney to handle his finances. Unfortunately, Wong failed to disclose she had been sanctioned by the New York Stock Exchange for putting a client’s money into her personal bank account.
Subsequently, in her one year handling Vick’s finances, Wong allegedly stole $900,000 from Vick’s bank accounts and also had business entities in Vick’s name transferred to her. Additionally, Vick’s purported losses on investments recommended by Wong exceed $2 million. Vick filed a civil lawsuit in January 2009.