Local News

Feds to sell banker's Raleigh home

Posted July 10, 2009 2:07 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2009 4:46 p.m. EDT

— The wife of a Raleigh man accused in an international banking scheme will get no money from the sale of their $1 million home in west Raleigh.

A federal court has seized William Wise's 5,200-square-foot, five-bedroom Georgian home in the gated Olde Raleigh subdivision off Duraleigh Road. Investigators with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said they believe it was paid for, in part, with funds from a fictitious Caribbean bank.

Wise, 58, operated Millennium Bank, which he billed as a St. Vincent-based unit of a Swiss bank. The SEC 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.

Attorneys for Wise's wife, Lynn Wise, argued that she should be entitled to some of the proceeds from the sale of the family's home, but a judge has ruled against her.

Court papers show a buyer has offered nearly $900,000 for the property, and the sale is scheduled to close Aug. 30.

Wise hasn't returned phone calls seeking comment. Authorities say his whereabouts are unknown, but sources close to the investigation have told WRAL News the Canadian native has returned to that country.