CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A federal judge has sentenced Robert Louis Winecoff, 37, to more than four years in prison for operating an investment fraud scheme.
According to court documents, Winecoff defrauded victims by luring them into investing in various bogus investment instruments and products. He then used their money for personal use rather than investing it.
In less than a year, Winecoff received approximately $343,000 from victim-investors. According to court records, he spent over $65,000 at hotels, gas stations, stores and airlines. He also withdrew almost $308,000 from the account victims wired their money into.
His company, Winecoff Financial Consulting Group, marketed bogus products through a website called www.wfcgnc.com. Winecoff and others recruited people by promising large payouts in less than a month, according to court documents. They told investors that their money would be used as a deposit to obtain a standby letter of credit, assuring that the investments were legal, guaranteed, safe and short-term.
According to court records, investors were told to wire between $20,000 and $60,000 to a bank account that Winecoff controlled, though he never invested the money or made any payments.
Complaints from investors were answered with Winecoff with a promise that they would receive their money by a specified date.
Winecoff pleaded guilty in March 2017 to one count of wire fraud.