Fort Mill man gets 9 years for ‘Wax House’ fraud

A Fort Mill man was sentenced this month to nine years in prison as part of a long-running federal investigation into a sprawling mortgage and investment fraud conspiracy.

Senior U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen also ordered Toby Hunter, 39, of Fort Mill, to pay $8.1 million in restitution to victims, Jill Westmoreland Rose, the acting U.S. attorney in Charlotte, announced Friday.

Hunter was the “chief investment officer” for Prestige Capital Advisors, one of the entities involved in the $75 million scheme. He pleaded guilty in December 2013 to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

The multiagency investigation, known as “Operation Wax House,” covered activities running from 2005 to 2012, mostly in Charlotte and neighboring Waxhaw, N.C. Indictments accused the leaders of running a criminal enterprise that engaged in investment fraud, mortgage fraud, money laundering and distribution of illegal drugs.

Prosecutors have brought charges against 91 individuals, 89 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted after trial. Two remain fugitives.

On Tuesday, Mullen sentenced James Tyson Jr. – described as the “leader of the leaders” by prosecutors – to 30 years in prison. Five more individuals are expected to be sentenced in the coming months as the investigation wraps up.

Hunter and his conspirators together stole more than $27 million from more than 50 investor victims, according to court documents and statements during Hunter’s sentencing hearing. They then used the victims’ money for personal expenses, including private jets, offices and entertainment.

According to court documents, Hunter used his education, licenses and purported experience to help lure investor victims into the scheme. One victim was defrauded of $4 million.

“Toby Hunter was a financial predator, now unable to harm investors for a long time,” Rose said in a statement.

Hunter was released on bond until he is ordered to report to a designated federal prison.

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