A Mount Pleasant man is accused of tricking his wife into trusting him to invest nearly a million dollars which authorities said he kept for himself.
Thomas Clay Wilson, 59, is charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent by the South Carolina Attorney General's Office.
Wilson went before a judge in Charleston County on Wednesday, where Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen denied him bail, calling him a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Wilson was extradited Tuesday from Connecticut, prosecutors said.
Wilson married Sally Ann Chickering, of Mount Pleasant, after the couple met through an online dating service, prosecutors said.
The couple moved to South Carolina and between April 2010 and May 2011, Wilson misled Chickering about his background, education and ability to invest funds, according to Andrew Ritner, a prosecutor with the state attorney general's office.
Wilson told his wife he would buy stocks on her behalf, according to Ritner.
"He never did that," Ritner said. "He got possession of over $900,000 by convincing her he was a savvy investor."
It was unclear if any of the money has been recovered.
Wilson appeared in court in a wheelchair. He was arrested in a hospital in Connecticut where he was being treated for heart issues when he was extradited, he told the judge. Wilson said he was waiting for surgery to replace a pacemaker.
Wilson, who does not have an attorney yet and pleaded not guilty to the charge, told the judge he would like his day in court.
"Quite frankly, at the risk of being indelicate, she's using the attorney general's office as a collection agency," Wilson told the judge.
The pair have since divorced, according to court records. Wilson was held in contempt of Family Court in Charleston County in June and was ordered to serve jail time, according to prosecutors.
He is currently detained at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston County.
State prosecutors opened a securities fraud investigation after receiving a call from the New Mexico Attorney General's Office regarding Wilson, who had lived in that state, according to S.C. Attorney General's Office Spokesman Mark Powell.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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