David and Ramona Wright, formerly of Sherrill, allegedly used money obtained from over two dozen investors for personal expenditures, including the purchase of a 53-foot yacht, two Lincoln Navigators and Rolex watches
Attorney General Letitia James announced today the indictment of David Wright, 53, president of Wright Wellness Solutions, Inc.; and Ramona Wright, 54, secretary/treasurer of Wright Wellness Solutions, Inc., formerly of Sherrill, on two indictments charging them with defrauding more than two dozen individuals in a $650,000 investment fraud scheme.
The Wrights, who were arrested in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they were staying on a yacht they allegedly purchased with the stolen money, were arraigned on both indictments before Oneida County Court Judge Robert L. Bauer.
“Allegedly defrauding dozens of individuals out of hard-earned money, all for personal gain is a cowardly act that cannot and will not go unanswered in the state of New York,” said James. “My office will continue to work diligently to root out and hold accountable anyone who steals from New Yorkers.”
According to statements made by prosecutors and documents filed in court today, the Wrights allegedly solicited and obtained over $650,000 in investments in Wright Wellness Solutions from more than two dozen individuals for the development, marketing and sale of a rehabilitative hospital bed called “The Klossner” and promised lucrative and swift returns on investment.
The Wrights allegedly used the investment money almost exclusively for personal gain, including the purchase of a $145,000 53-foot yacht they named the “Mad Hatteras,” $120,000 to purchase, fuel and maintain two luxury vehicles, more than $100,000 in cash withdrawals, the purchase of two Rolex watches and self-dealing transfers to other companies the Wrights owned.
Additionally, the Wrights allegedly gave themselves unauthorized loans of investment money and falsely omitted those loans from the financial statements of the company.
The Wrights are jointly charged with two counts of third-degree grand larceny, a class D felony; one count of first-degree scheme to defraud, a class E felony; and one count of securities fraud under General Business Law Section 352-c(6) (the Martin Act), a class E felony.
Ramona Wright is also charged with one count of first-degree falsifying business records, a class E felony.
Bauer set bail for the Wrights in the amount of $300,000 bond or $150,000 cash; they are scheduled to return to court April 10, 2019.
If convicted of all counts, David Wright faces up to 6 to 18 years in state prison; Ramona Wright faces up to 7 1/3 to 20 years in state prison.
The charges against the defendants are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Attorney General’s criminal investigation was initiated after a complaint made to the Office’s Investor Protection Bureau. The Attorney General’s Office thanks the Horry County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina for its assistance in locating and arresting the defendants, as well as the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Benjamin S. Clark and Assistant Attorney General Andrew Tarkowski of the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Support Analyst Joseph Conniff.
The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice José Maldonado.
The Attorney General’s Office investigation was conducted by Inv. Joel Cordone and Inv. David Buske under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle and Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief John Reidy. Audit work was performed by Principal Forensic Auditor Meaghan Scotellaro. The Forensic Audit Section is led by Deputy Chief Sandy Bizzarro and Chief Edward J. Keegan.