A Santa Monica conman has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud after authorities say he conned multiple women, including one “Black-ish” actress out of nearly $400k in an elaborate romance and business scam. He now faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
According to an FBI investigation, between May 2015 and October 2018, Antonio Mariot Wilson, also known as “Dr. Tony Mariot” and “Brice Carrington” created an entire fraudulent lifestyle that he repeated to his four victims, one of which being Black-ish actress Jenifer Lewis, whom he began a romantic relationship with. Wilson claimed to be Navy SEAL, an Oxford University graduate and a professor teaching biblical antiquities at UCLA, all of which proved to be lies. Once he gained their trust, he convinced the women to invest in two businesses, one for sound design and the other software, claiming that he had close working relationships with ABC and EA Sports.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Wilson confessed he sold unregistered securities to one of the companies by distributing “shareholder agreements” and “stock purchase agreements” to his victims. He made a total of $387,000 from the scam, spending his earnings on personal items.
This is not the first time that Wilson has pulled this stunt. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges and wire fraud in a similar scheme. He served four years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.