U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia
(757) 441-6331
November 4, 2015

President and CEO of Wilson Capital Group Sentenced to 84 Months

NORFOLK, VA—Ayanna N. James, 40, of Virginia Beach, Virginia was sentenced today to 84 months in prison for mail fraud and unlawful monetary transactions. The Court also sentenced James to three years’ supervised release and ordered her to pay $4,592,300.00 in restitution to her victims.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigations, Washington, D.C. Field Office, and David Bowers, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.

James pleaded guilty on May 15, 2015. According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, James was the President and CEO of Wilson Capital Group, Inc. which was a private equity firm that she claimed controlled billions of dollars in investor participation. Claiming that she controlled a legitimate company, James, and other known conspirators, solicited funds from clients by promising to secure capital and other financing through purported “Standby Letters of Credit” and other fraudulent means. James never invested in anything and instead immediately converted the funds entrusted to her company to her own personal use to fund her extravagant lifestyle. For example, James used $34,000 of fraudulent proceeds to purchase season tickets to the Orlando Magic, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to travel overseas, to build a custom home, for living expenses, to purchase jewelry, to support her extended family, and to purchase a 2007 Bentley automobile. As a result of her fraudulent conduct, multiple victims suffered actual losses of over $4.5 million.

This case was investigated by the Tidewater Complex Financial Crimes Task Force. Members of the Task Force include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa E. O’Boyle is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No.2:15cr55.

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