Former Vick Adviser Charged with Ponzi Scheme

Mary Wong, the former adviser of Michael Vick recently sued by the Department of Labor (DoL) and Vick, now has more legal problems to deal with.

Federal prosecutors have charged Wong, who advised Vick and several other NFL players, with stealing $3 million from eight victims in a Ponzi scheme, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors say Wong used money from selling investments in luxury properties to support her other businesses and a lavish lifestyle for herself, business partners, and clients, according to the news report. In classic Ponzi style, she also allegedly used some of the money from new investors to pay past investors.

Wong, who works out her home in Omaha, has not been registered to sell securities investments since 2004, and in 2007 was permanently barred from trading securities on the New York Stock Exchange for depositing a customer’s money into her personal bank account, according to court documents cited by the AP.

Three NFL players who played for the University of Nebraska were partners in a corporation that Wong ran, although she also ran her own investment business: Demorrio Williams of the Kansas City Chiefs and twins Josh Bullocks of the Chicago Bears and Daniel Bullocks of the Detroit Lions. However, federal prosecutors say there’s no evidence to indicate wrongdoing by the three players, the AP reported.

It has not yet been revealed who lost money, and whether Vick’s money was involved in the scheme.

Previous Lawsuits

Wong, Vick, and other advisers were sued by the DoL in March for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) for making prohibited transfers from a pension plan sponsored by MV7, a celebrity marketing company owned by Vick (see “Michael Vick and Financial Advisers Sued for ERISA Violations”). The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Furthermore, Vick sued Wong seeking to recover at least $2 million from her in January. The suit alleged that Wong persuaded Vick to give her power of attorney, putting her in control of his finances, but did not disclose the sanction she received from the New York Stock Exchange, according to the news report.

Vick's lawsuit also alleged that Wong transferred to Williams and the Bullockses $650,000 from Vick's bank accounts and $175,000 from the sale of Georgia income tax credits owned by Vick, according to the AP. Wong has denied any wrongdoing.