CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A federal jury returned a criminal indictment charging a 48-year-old Raleigh man with securities fraud on Wednesday for defrauding at least 19 victims of more than $3.6 million.
According to the allegations contained in the indictment, between 2011 and 2019, Mac Wayne Billings engaged in securities fraud through his company, Alpha Finance Company (ALPHA) located in Sparta, N.C.
The indictment alleges Billings fraudulently obtained more than $3.6 million from at least 19 victims throughout Alleghany, Wilkes and Surry Counties, by soliciting them to invest in ALPHA via “debenture notes.”
Authorities say a debenture note is a type of debt instrument typically not backed by collateral.
As alleged in the indictment, Billings, who is a licensed North Carolina CPA, falsely promised ALPHA’s victim-investors that their money would be used to make high interest consumer loans from which the investors would receive interest payments.
Instead, authorities say Billings used little, if any, of the investors’ funds to make new consumer loans.
Rather, Billings used some of the investors’ money to make payments to other investors and to pay himself over $1 million in salary and distributions from ALPHA.
The indictment further alleges that Billings used investment statements, emails and meetings to mislead and deceive victims into believing that ALPHA was a profitable company and that the victim’s investments were safe.
Authorities say Billings allegedly failed to disclose material information concerning ALPHA’s financial and business troubles including that he sold or mortgaged most of ALPHA’s assets to hard money lenders.
Based on this fake information provided by Billings, many of the victim-investors renewed and made additional investments with ALPHA, causing them to lose even more money.
Lawsuits against Billings were brought by the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks (NCCOB) and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office alleging that he failed to comply with state laws governing consumer finance and retail installment loans.
Billings defaulted on these lawsuits, according to a news release.
In turn, the NCCOB revoked ALPHA’s license due to non-compliance with North Carolina’s Consumer Finance Act.
Courts in Alleghany and Wake Counties declared ALPHA’s loan null and void, leaving the investor-victims with no assets to recoup their losses.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations and the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Authorities say the securities fraud charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $5 million fine.
Billings’ initial appearance will be scheduled in federal court in Charlotte.