On Feb. 22, self-proclaimed Charlotte business consultant Wynn Charlebois received what he himself described as “an extremely alarming” email from a California lawyer representing Nannocare Inc.
The heading in bold read, Re: Notice of Securities Fraud: Immediate Cease and Desist Order; Request for Damages.
“We will be immediately filing a lawsuit against you and WC Private LLC. … seeking an emergency injunction in federal court,” attorney Tal Kapelner wrote in the first line.
Kapelner added that Nannocare, a four-year-old manufacturer of organic sanitary pads, will be “suing for, among other things: 1) Securities Fraud … 2) Identity Theft; 3) Lanham Act (trademark) violations; 4) Forgery, and will be seeking compensatory, special, punitive, and exemplary damages... including but not limited to a disgorgement back to your victims of all proceeds received from your illegal conduct.”
That suit was never filed. But by the time Charlebois responded at 5:39 a.m. the following day he should have felt walls closing in. He had already been putting off a “co-investor” in Nannocare for more than a month. And he had started putting off investors in other purported deals.
And by May 19, at the latest, the other shoe had fallen. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Charlebois and his company, WC Private. It alleges Charlebois was engaged in a Ponzi scheme since 2019 built on false investment opportunities.
Charlebois used bogus investment offers to defraud investors — largely from business and social contacts in Charlotte — of at least $7.1 million since February of 2019, the SEC says. He used some of the money from new investors to distribute “gains” to previous investors, SEC court filings state.
The rest, says SEC enforcement accountant Krystal Cannon, he used for “mortgage payments, private college tuition and related expenses, private high school tuition, airline tickets, travel related lodging and entertainment, car payments and expenses, credit card payments, debutante club payments, gym expenses, spa expenses, meals, transfers to family members’ bank accounts, and cash withdrawals.”
He ultimately took money from about 75 people who fell for the schemes, the SEC says.
Read more here.
(WATCH BELOW: SEC accuses Charlotte man of operating $7 million Ponzi scheme, defrauding more than 75 investors)