A federal court has fined a Connecticut investment company $22 million for running a Ponzi scheme. Sharon-based Wilkinson Financial Opportunity Fund bilked 30 investors out of $11 million.
Alvin Wilkinson was once a highflying trader who sat on the board of directors for one of the largest options markets in the country. But starting in 2005, he went around to his friends, relatives, and business partners promising them 10 to 30 percent returns. When those profits didn’t materialize, he paid off old clients with money coming in from new clients.
The fraud unraveled when two investors noticed Wilkinson lied on financial statements. They wanted their money back, but Wilkinson gave a litany of excuses. Finally, federal regulators stepped in and sued. A judge ordered Wilkinson to pay $22 million in restitution and fines.
Wilkinson and his attorneys did not return calls for comment.