Cars, wine are up for bid in Ponzi scheme auction

Posted October 28, 2009

— Cars, wine, art and jewels will go on the auction block in an attempt to recover assets for investors who lost money in an alleged Ponzi scheme.

William Wise, 58, operated Millennium Bank, which he billed as a St. Vincent-based unit of a Swiss bank, from an office on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.

The Securities Exchange Commission sued Wise and others in March, alleging that the bank was a front for a Ponzi scheme that has stolen more than $68 million from 375 investors, including at least 12 in North Carolina.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case, but courts have frozen Wise's assets so they can be auctioned off to repay investors.

wise auction Luxury items up for bid

Handbags from Chanel and Louis Vuitton are among the designer items up for auction. Many of the items have barely been used, certified estate specialist Nancy Blount said Wednesday.

Blount said the highlight among the jewelry will be a seven-carat diamond ring.

About 130 bottles of high-priced wine are also part of the sale. Bottles range in value from $50 to up to $1,000.

Iron Horse Auction Company, Inc. of Rockingham, and Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. of Hillsborough, will conduct the auction Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at the North Raleigh Hilton. Bidders can attend in person or bid in real time via the Internet.

"You'll see that the Wise family liked the best of the best. They had designer and name-brands at every level," Leland Little said.

Little expects the auction to take hours, but said the 500 items are worth the wait.

"We are selling by court order and we're instructed to sell to the highest bidder and that's why a lot of folks will be interested," Little said. "We'll sell for the values they bring that day."


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  • simplysmurfy Oct 29, 2009

    I'll be there!

  • bluetarheel21 Oct 29, 2009

    I'll be at the auction, I want those handbags!!

  • Maximus - the - man Oct 29, 2009

    The court ordered the house sold and no she did not get to keep the money. It went to the courts and the lawyer in Dallas that is handleing everything. She got to keep a pair of silverplated candlesticks and a few cloths,and pictures of the family. That was it. There kids got to keep cloths and books and stuff of no value. I must be nice to sit down to a 1000.00 dollar bottle of wine just because you have it in the house.

  • gingerlynn Oct 28, 2009

    wattsun, he hid the rest of his money! like his 1million dollar house
    He was "wise" enough to move his mansion into his wife's name and then sell it in August. Wonder if they can touch "her" money?

    3704 Camp Mangum Wynd Raleigh NC

  • jetset Oct 28, 2009

    I am so sick of reading about all these people who love money and "nice things" so much that they are willing to sacrifice their own soul. Why can't they understand that they will eventually be caught? Is it really worth it? Such fools!

  • mfmoore2001 Oct 28, 2009

    I remember driving by that bank several times and wondering who uses a "non-branded" bank, and why should people trust someone who opens a bank. Hmmm... guess I was more insightful than I realized.

  • mrr03 Oct 28, 2009

    Pride goes before the fall

  • wattsun Oct 28, 2009

    68 Million stolen and this is ALL they could get from this clown.
    a couple Gucci/Chanel bags and a 2 Benz and Escalade?
    the feds should dig up his