- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Beach woman has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for swindling investors out of millions of dollars.

Forty-year-old Ayanna James was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. Prosecutors said James cheated investors out of $4.5 million as CEO of Wilson Capital Group.

Prosecutors say they have searched James’ house but can’t find any trace of the money.

The Virginian-Pilot (https://bit.ly/1RVynBm ) reports that James pleaded guilty in May to one count each of mail fraud and making unlawful monetary transactions.

James ripped off at least five businesses. One business was trying to prospect for oil and gold, while another wanted to buy 114 gas stations, according to court records.

James portrayed herself as the president and CEO of a billion-dollar private equity firm.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, https://pilotonline.com

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