LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man accused of romancing “black-ish” star Jenifer Lewis and three other women to con them out of money for his phony businesses agreed Friday to plead guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud, prosecutors said.
Antonio Wilson, 57, of Santa Monica, acknowledged conning the women in the plea agreement filed in federal court in Los Angeles, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement. He was expected to plead guilty at a later hearing.
Wilson, also known as “Dr. Tony Mariot” and “Brice Carrington,” fleeced his victims out of nearly $400,000 that he claimed were investments in his sound design company and software business, prosecutors said.
In fact, he spent the money on himself, they said.
“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,” said the U.S. attorney’s office statement.
Wilson was accused of stealing $50,000 from Lewis, who plays Ruby on the ABC sitcom “black-ish,” after meeting her at a gym where he was a manager. Lewis later sued the gym and settled for $13,000.
Wilson could face up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.