Merrillville man set to change plea

2013-09-20T17:40:00Z 2013-09-20T23:35:28Z Merrillville man set to change pleaTimes Staff
September 20, 2013 5:40 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A Merrillville man is expected to change his plea to guilty in federal court Monday in connection with federal fraud charges.

Eugene Wilson Sr., 56, was indicted Jan. 4, 2012. He was initially charged with eight counts of wire fraud and three counts of structuring bank transactions to fall under the $10,000 threshold at which point banks must report the transaction.

Wilson was found guilty of trying to circumvent federal law to hide $178,000, and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

In a separate case, he is charged with defrauding friends of $1.5 million, the case in which he is scheduled to change his plea. He is accused of devising a scheme from January 2006 through at least 2008 to defraud investors by promising a high rate of return on their investments, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

As a further inducement, Wilson is accused of promising to keep investor funds in an escrow account. After receiving money from the investors, Wilson is accused of immediately transferring the funds to banks in Europe or spending the money on himself and others.

Wilson is accused of concealing his actions by lying to the investors about the location of the money and repeatedly promising to return the funds. He also knowingly structured or assisted in structuring a currency transaction by engaging in a series of bank transactions to avoid the bank reporting that he had received more than $10,000, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the FBI.

Wilson is the father of Merrillville High School football star Eugene Wilson Jr. who also played professional football for several years.

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