Alleged Ponzi Scheme Lawyer Finally Caught After 20 Years on the Lam
The law finally caught up with Scott J. Wolas -- and Eugene J. Grathwohl, Allen L. Hengst, Drew Prescott, Frank Amolsch, Endicott Asquith, and Cameron Sturge.
These are names Wolas used over the 20 years that he was on the lam. A former partner at Hunton & Williams, he vanished 20 years ago in the midst of an investigation into a Ponzi scheme.
Wolas has been arrested and charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in an unrelated investment fraud. And he almost got away with it -- again.
"For years, Wolas was the guy who got away," the Boston Globe reported.
What's in a Name?
He got away the first time in 1997, when he was a working at the Manhattan office of Hunton & Williams. He disappeared after he was indicted on 119 counts of fraud and grand larceny for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from investors.
According to FBI records, Wolas took on the name of Allen Hengst and re-emerged in Florida. He became an investment broker, then fled again just as officials tracked him down and issued an arrest warrant.
Wolas went to Massachusetts under the name Eugene Grathwohl, and worked as a real estate agent. He solicited investments for another deal and took off again.
Then Endicott Asquith, or Cameron Sturge, his last alias, made a mistake. He lied to a woman about his identity, and in a rare moment of remorse told her his true name.
On September 15, 2016, Wolas was set to close on the purchase of a lot in Quincy, Massachusetts. He disappeared the week before, however, allegedly taking $1.5 million of investors' money.
He also committed the crime of leaving a bewildered girlfriend behind. Investigators put it together and caught up with him in Delray Beach, Florida.
Wolas faces up to 20 years in prison for his alleged deeds in Quincy. As for the scheme he ran at Hunton & Williams, that's another story.
The firm's leaders said then they had no idea that Wolas was running a Ponzi scheme out of their offices. Twenty years later, they hardly know his name.
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