CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Federal authorities said a Charlotte man set up a Ponzi-style fraud scheme, and his victims included family members and friends.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced an unsealed indictment against Wynn A.D. Charlebois, 52, of Charlotte. Authorities charged Charlebois with wire fraud and money laundering in the multi-million dollar investment scheme.

Charlebois bilked victim investors, including friends, family members and social acquaintances by falsely promising their money would go into risk-free investments, subscription agreements and loans.

The Charlotte man’s first court appearance was Friday morning after FBI agents picked him up. The indictment stated that from 2015 to October 2022, Charlebois allegedly used companies he owned and controlled to catch at least 39 victim investors and entities.

Those people lost more than $5.3 million in the scheme through WC Private, Wilcox Hybrid, Damon Investments and other business interests.

According to allegations in the indictment, Charlebois fraudulently asserted in the investment agreements presented to victim investors that he and his entities held stock options for particular companies and that the investors could purchase the options and gain specified profits.

Instead of investing, the indictment said Charlebois used the money to make Ponzi-style payments to other investors and on personal expenses. Those expenses included private school tuition, mortgage payments, luxury travel and restaurant meals.

After his court appearance, Charlebois posted a bond. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud charge. If convicted, the six money laundering charges could result in 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

The details contained in this indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Michael C. Scherck, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Charlotte Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which oversees Charlotte, join UKing in making Friday’s announcement.

The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny G. Sugar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte represents the prosecution.