LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the arrest today of WILSON
JAMES BASTON, JR., a/k/a “Wil James,” a/k/a “Will James,” the
President and Founder of Will James Equity Partners, Inc., on
charges that BASTON defrauded investors of over $16 million.
According to the two-count Complaint filed in Manhattan federal
In 2002, BASTON created Will James Equity Partners,
Inc., which purported to be a real estate investment program
which purchased distressed properties in the New York City area,
as investment vehicles for long and short-term investors. A
marketing/promotional brochure for Will James Equity Partners,
Inc., described the enterprise as a “for-profit corporation whose
purpose is to identify real estate properties which are
undervalued or distressed, for investment and resale.” BASTON
claimed to purchase “pre-foreclosures” and distressed properties,
in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and Manhattan, which he would
renovate as necessary, and resell at market value.
According to the brochure, these purchases were funded from “a variety of
equity partners,” with terms determined on an individualized,
venture by venture basis. According to the promotional brochure,
investments in Will James Equity Partners, Inc., started at
$25,000 and could be held for “as little as 14 days or as long as
18 months.” The brochure promised rates of return ranging from
10% to 30%, based on the equity in the property being acquired.