James David Williams was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) from March through December 2018.
Keith Raniere, the founder of Nxivm, was also detained at the MDC from about April 1, 2018 to late 2020.
The two men spent about eight months together in the same prison. And Williams may be in hot water over their association and other foolish actions he might have undertaken.
Williams is scheduled to be sentenced before US District Judge Kimba M. Wood of the Southern District of New York on December 17, 2021 for violation of his parole conditions.
The government wants him to spend 18 months in prison for his seeming stupidity.
On June 28, 2016, Williams and co-defendants Steven Brown and Gerald Seppala were arrested on conspiring to commit wire fraud, and conspiring to commit money laundering, related to a scheme to defraud investors in various film projects from 2012-2016.
Williams was released on bail and in August 2017 and began cooperating with the Government.
On September 21, 2017, Williams pleaded guilty, pursuant to a cooperation agreement, to conspiring to commit wire fraud, substantive wire fraud, and conspiring to commit money laundering, and wire fraud.
Following his guilty plea, the Government learned Williams engaged in other efforts to defraud investor victims after his arrest in June 2016, but he had not disclosed that to the Government.
Williams ultimately admitted the full scope of his scamming and continued cooperating.
On March 22, 2018, Williams pleaded guilty to additional charges of one count of bank fraud, and one count of making false statements to law enforcement officials.
Williams was incarcerated at the time of his March 2018 plea at MDC, alongside of Raniere who was awaiting trial.
On December 18, 2018, Judge Wood sentenced Williams to time served, followed by three years’ probation and Williams said goodbye to the Vanguard, or at least that’s what the government thought.
At his sentencing, Williams told the judge, “Your Honor, I stand here in front of you a much different man than the man that stood here in front of you on July 21st, 2016. I have changed. This system has changed me. And I ask you for the ability for me to prove that to you by my actions moving forward from this point.”
The Court imposed forfeiture in the amount of $10,684,358.82 and restitution in the amount of $15,532,797.50, something he was probably nowhere near able to pay..
Williams’ probation commenced on December 18, 2018, and is set to expire on December 17, 2021. But he did not quite make it.
Throughout his probation, Williams lived in California. In the summer of 2019, the Government received information Williams had traveled to Hawaii. Yet he was not making his restitution payments.
The Government made inquiries with the Probation Office in the Central District of California. Williams’ supervising Probation Officer furnished documents, provided by Williams, indicating that the travel to Hawaii was related to recently obtained employment with “Universal Yacht Management.”
The documents appeared similar to fraudulent documents prepared by Williams in connection with his earlier film fraud.
A little investigation uncovered that in April 2019 – four months after he was sentenced to time served – Williams submitted a request to travel to Florida for a job interview, attaching an email from “Henry Marker,” “V.P. Operations” of Universal Yacht Management.
Neither Marker nor Universal Yacht Management exist.
In June 2019, Williams submitted a monthly report to the Probation Office attesting that he started work with Universal Yacht Management earlier that month, listing Marker as his supervisor.
Williams provided emails from Marker, as well as an address and telephone number for Universal Yacht Management
It turned out that the phone number was a phone he owned and the address was of a provider of virtual office services, which has no record of Henry Marker or Universal Yacht Management.
Williams also created a website for Universal. He paid for the domain name with his wife’s credit card.
The website claimed that Universal Yacht Management was “an accredited management company” providing “virtual and shore-based superyacht management services,” with a team that “includes veteran yacht management coordinators, captains and engineers whose collective experience is unmatched.”
The site provided an address in Miami, Florida.
Williams used his fake employment at Universal Yacht Management to get permission to travel and also hide his financial situation by submitting fake paychecks, supposedly drawn on a Bank of America account that he once used to commit film-financing fraud before his arrest.
In his June 2020 financial disclosures, Williams indicated he received no salary or wages beyond the $4,000 in monthly income from his claimed work at Universal Yacht Management.
Actually, Williams was making money related to ongoing efforts at film production.
Between January 31, 2020 and December 15, 2020, Williams received more than $500,000 in transfers from a bank account related to followers of Raniere for the development and production of a documentary about Nxivm.
Williams of course is likely up to his old scams and likely will never make any film for NXIVM or perhaps anyone else.
Williams appears to have used funds he got from NXIVM for living expenses and lied about it
He made $11,900 in payments toward the $15,532,797.50 he owes his victims in restitution.
Williams claims he used the bank account to receive client and business associate funds and to pay business expenses, paying himself a modest salary and that he “borrowed” $86,500 to pay personal and family expenses, with the knowledge of his NXIVM contact.
In short, his bank account on October 30, 2019, was $1.00. Between then and January 28, 2021, approximately $614,779 flowed into the account and, subsequently, out of the account. The vast majority of those funds—more than $564,243—came from NXIVM or from companies clearly associated with film production.
Williams spent more than $168,000 on a boat and marina-related expenses. He withdrew $52,000 in cash. He transferred $50,000 to pay credit card and car payment bills in his wife’s name. He paid $17,949 in rent for a luxury apartment building in Tempe, Arizona, where two of his children reside. He paid $11,500 in payments on a second car.
He transferred thousands of dollars to family members. And spent thousands of dollars at Costco, on airline tickets and hotels, and in tuition payments to his child’s private high school.
Now the money NXIVM lost – the half a million for a film that will never be made – is hardly a drop in the bucket for the likely funder of this – Clare Bronfman.
But Williams was just about done — he had but a few months of probation and he swindled NXIVM out of half a million and to cover for it he claimed he worked for a Yacht Company.
Viva Executive Success!