Irvine man guilty of stealing woman's money in fake gold scheme

An Orange County man who stole $280,000 from a woman in a fake gold investment scheme was sentenced Monday to a decade in state prison.

William Scott Spalding, 47, pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts of money laundering, three felony counts of grand theft and one felony count of first-degree residential burglary, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Spalding, an Irvine resident, will have to pay restitution and a fine totaling $576,000, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that in March of 2011 Spalding approached the 51-year-old woman claiming to be an investor and promised significant returns if she bought gold from him.

On March 13, 2011, he received $58,000 in cash from the woman; the next day, he received $180,000 through a wire transfer, prosecutors said. He later received  $50,000 more from the woman.

But instead of investing the money, prosecutors said, Spalding deposited the money in multiple personal bank accounts.

He bought a Mercedes-Benz and made payments on a house, among other personal purchases. Prosecutors said he never purchased the gold.

This story was reported by Times Staff Writer Rick Rojas.

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