Raleigh banker's assets to go on auction block

Posted October 27, 2009 3:45 p.m. EDT
Updated October 28, 2009 2:49 p.m. EDT

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.

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.