Reported by Nigel Boys
Charles Huggins, the 68-year-old former husband of Beatrice Melba Hill, more commonly known by her stage name of Melba Moore, who was divorced from the R&B singer and actress in 1991, was convicted on Friday of wire fraud.
The music producer who worked with stars such as Tom Cruise and Whitney Houston was also convicted by Federal Judge Sidney Stein last week of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after he was accused of cheating dozens of investors in a Ponzi scheme.
Former NFL player, Ken Hamlin testified in court that he had been one of Huggins victims, where he cheated investors out of millions of dollars to finance his own pursuits, according to the New York Daily News.
Huggins sentencing is set for January next year and Judge Stein ordered that he be kept in custody until that time where he will face up to 40 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, Huggins started to con people as early as 2005 and continued doing so until 2011. They alleged that he told dozens of investors that he was using their money to mine gold and diamonds from Sierra Leone and Liberia, when if fact, he was using vast amounts of cash to continue his own lavish lifestyle.
The former husband and manager of Moore, is accused of keeping his $7,200 per month apartment on Sutton Place in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York with money he had swindled from his investors. It is also alleged that he used their money to pay off other investors as well as his own credit cards, dine in expensive restaurants, buy fancy clothes and pay for the upkeep of his Mercedes-Benz.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huggins was not shy about throwing his investors’ money around, because he gave tens of thousands of dollars to his relatives and friends and to finance his own record company.
When Moore, 68, the daughter of saxophonist Teddy Hill and R&B singer Bonnie Davis divorced Huggins in 1991, she claimed that her husband had ruined her financially.