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Actress Jenifer Lewis ended up being the victim of a money scheme that caused her and three other women thousands of dollars, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Antonio Mariot Wilson, also known as “Dr. Tony Mariot” and “Brice Carrington” pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge after he allegedly tricked multiple women out of their money via a business and romance scam. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California announced the charges on Friday.

An FBI investigation found that Wilson, now 57, met four women between May 2015 and October 2018, including the “Black-ish” star. He began a romantic relationship with each of the women before allegedly swindling them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a purported business.

Wilson falsely claimed to be a Navy SEAL, an Oxford University graduate and a professor teaching biblical antiquities at UCLA. While in relationships with the women, he urged them to invest in two businesses, which he said has relationships with ABC and EA Sports. One of the businesses was for software and the other was for sound design, according to authorities.

Wilson confessed that he sold unregistered securities to one of the companies by distributing “shareholder agreements” and “stock purchase agreements” to the victims, which caused him to receive $387,000. He then spent the money on personal items, according to authorities.

Wilson has a history of such schemes, considering he pleaded guilty to something similar in 2009. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said he served a four-year term in federal prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud charges.

With his recent scheme, Wilson now faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison upon entering his guilty plea.

According to Fox 11 New, Wilson is accused of stealing $50,000 from Lewis, who plays Ruby on ABC’s “Black-ish” sitcom. He reportedly met her at a gym where he was the manager. Lewis later sued the gym and settled for $13,000.

Lewis has been taking on the role of Ruby in “Black-ish” since the show premiered in 2014. Since then, she’s received acclaim for her no-nonsense portrayal of Dre’s mom, including a Black Reel Award and two Critics Choice Television Awards nominations. “Black-ish” just wrapped its sixth season on May 5. There’s no word yet on whether “Black-ish” will return for a seventh season.


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