A man accused of romancing and swindling “black-ish” star Jenifer Lewis and three other women agreed Friday to plead guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud.
According to wjla.com, Antonio Wilson, 57, conned several women out of money for his business, but actually ended up spending the money on himself, and admitted as much in the plea agreement filed in federal court in Los Angeles. Prosecutors claim Wilson “fleeced his victims out of nearly $400,000 that he claimed were investments in his sound design company and software business,” the outlet writes.
“To create a false impression of legitimacy and prestige, Wilson falsely claimed to be a Navy SEAL, an Oxford University graduate, and an Oxford professor teaching biblical antiquities at UCLA,” said the U.S. attorney’s office statement.
Wilson was accused of stealing $50,000 from Lewis after meeting her at a gym where he was a manager. She later sued the gym and settled for $13,000.
We previously reported.. Lewis took to her social media accounts to put her ex-boyfriend on full blast, calling him a career criminal and con artist who swindled her out of $50,000 and duped other investors out of $4 million.
“On September 11, 2015, only hours before my mother passed away, I learned that the man I planned to build a life with was a convicted felon and con artist whose criminal career spans more than 25 years, with a special skill in swindling women,” she wrote on Instagram back in 2017.
“This man, whose name is Tony Wilson, had been sentenced in 2010 to four years in federal prison for conning investors out of $4 million and was currently out on parole. I learned also that his name wasn’t Tony Wilson — it was Brice Carrington,” she explained.
Lewis said that upon further Internet sleuthing, she discovered more about his alleged criminal enterprise.
“By searching online, I learned that Tony Wilson is a convicted felon and con artist. By searching online, I learned that Wilson, as Brice Carrington, had falsely claimed to be a three-time ‘Oscar winner’ in sound design and had paid a jeweler to create fake Academy Award Oscar statues to lure unsuspecting investors for his sound effects business,” she added.
She continued, “Unfortunately, I learned the truth about Tony Wilson only after he conned me into investing more than $50,000 into the exact same sound effects business for which he had plead guilty, for which he had served time, and for which he was currently on parole.”
Wilson could face up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.