A Florida man who recruited dozens of individuals to invest in Nevin Shapiro's $930 million Ponzi scheme entered a guilty plea Tuesday in connection with misrepresenting his income to the Internal Revenue Service. Sydney Williams, 63, of Naples, Florida, pled guilty to one count of subscribing to a false tax return, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in federal prison.
Williams admitted to recruiting more than sixty investors for Shapiro's Capitol Investments USA, which purported to operate as a grocery diverter by purchasing lower-priced groceries in one region and reselling the goods in another region for a profit. In reality, the operation was a gian Ponzi scheme that took in nearly $1 billion before it was uncovered. Shapiro later pled guilty to securities fraud and money laundering, and in June 2011 was sentenced to serve twenty years in federal prison.
As many are no doubt familiar, Shapiro's activities involving the University of Miami athletic program while operating the Ponzi scheme were the subject of an in-depth Yahoo! Sports article that gained national attention. Shapiro's generous charitable giving to the University of Miami resulted in a student lounge named after him. The dedication was later removed after his fraud was uncovered.