SANTA ANA – An Irvine man with a history of fraud convictions pleaded guilty Monday to 13 felony counts of burglary, money laundering and grand theft for stealing more than $288,000 from a woman in a fake gold-investment scheme.
William Scott Spalding, 47, who also admitted penalty enhancements for excessive taking and aggravated white-collar crime, was ordered to repay the victim and pay a fine of $576,000, Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche said.
Labreche said Spalding claimed be a successful investor when he met the 51-year-old woman through an acquaintance and persuaded her with the promise of high returns to invest with him by purchasing gold, prosecutors said.
But Spalding never bought the gold as promised or gave the woman her money back, prosecutors said.
Spalding, who has three prison priors, instead placed the money in a personal bank account and spent it on items like a high-end Mercedes-Benz and payments on a house, Labreche said.
“He has a long history of financial crime,” Labreche said Monday. “People should be wary of him if he gets out of prison.”
By LARRY WELBORN/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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