There’s a conman “in these streets” and fortunately for one of our faves, Jenifer Lewis, he’s finally getting what was coming for him.
Antonio Mariot Wilson, the 57-year-old California man, who also went by the aliases Dr. Tony Mariot and Brice Carrington, pled guilty on Friday to orchestrating an online romance scheme which led to him conning four women, including black-ish actress Jenifer Lewis.
In his scam, the con artist convinced the women into investing nearly $400,000 into his fraudulent companies, in order to pay off debt and fund his luxurious lifestyle.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in L.A., between 2015 and 2018, Wilson began romantic relationships with four different women to run his scheme — one of which was Lewis, where he met working at an LA Fitness gym in Los Angeles. The other three women he met via the Bumble dating app, and convinced them into giving him money to invest in a software company called 2nd Life and sound design company Ultimate FX.
“To create a false impression of legitimacy and prestige, Wilson falsely claimed to be a Navy SEAL, an Oxford University graduate, and an Oxford professor teaching biblical antiquities at UCLA,” prosecutors said in a news release.
This isn’t the first time Wilson had been caught committing fraud either. In 2009, he was sentenced to four years in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion for trying to defraud those investing into Ultimate FX.
“The relationship of course became personal and he convinced me to invest into a fake sound invention,” Lewis told TMZ. “We became romantically involved but little did I know he was a life criminal, a con artist. He had researched me on the internet, knew all of my ins and outs and played them against me. This is a horrible man and I really got hurt. It was very painful.”
Wilson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.