A Virginia woman who managed to dupe dozens of victims out of millions of dollars with claims that she was investing in a healthcare software program—but instead was living a life of luxury—learned her fate Friday.
The Washington Post reported that 43-year-old Keisha Williams, of Ashburn, was handed down a sentence of 15 ½ years behind bars for scamming “more than 50 people” out of $5 million.
Williams was arrested February 15, 2018, after a probe found she swindled the money out of hopeful investors by telling them “she needed emergency funding to get software that she had purchased out of ‘escrow’ in Austria,” Fox 5 reported at the time, citing federal authorities.
The fraudulent activity reportedly occurred over the span of four years.
Instead of investing the money as promised, Williams instead basked in the money, living a luxurious lifestyle while traveling to exotic destinations around the world, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, citing court records.
Williams reportedly spent under $300,000 on the software itself, which she “never fully purchased.” A much larger portion of the millions of dollars was used for high-end vacations Williams enjoyed with her girlfriend, according to the records.
She apparently cozied up at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Bahamas, and traveled to several other destinations including Disney World, Europe, Rome, and Bora Bora.
While in Bora Bora, Williams boasted about seeing celebrity Tracy Morgan on the island, but conceded that it was not him, but herself who had “the biggest Villa on the island,” according to the newspaper.
“The way in which you spent this money…is appalling,” Judge Leonie M. Brinkema told Williams at sentencing in federal court on Friday. “It was one of the worst (cases) I’ve seen.”
Nearly two dozen victims, some of whom reportedly lost their homes to the fraudulent scheme, testified against the convicted scam artist. Williams confessed to the crimes and pleaded guilty to 14 charges involving fraud.
When asked by one of her victims at sentencing how she slept at night, Williams said, “I am a good person who made some bad choices,” adding that she is “a new person.”
[Feature Photo: Keisha Williams, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia]