HILO, Hawaii (AP) Unspecified health problems are helping a 73-year-old Hilo woman avoid additional time behind bars by cutting a plea deal in an investment scam.
Roberta Beck "Buddy" Wong pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to wire fraud. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that in exchange for the plea, she'll be sentenced to time already served and five years' probation. She must also pay about $600,000 in restitution.
Court documents say the agreement was reached because of unspecified "extreme health problems."
Wong was indicted last year on numerous charges alleging she ran a Ponzi scheme, stealing nearly $500,000 from investors over nearly a decade. Subsequent indictments alleged she continued to run the scam while awaiting trial. Court documents claim she told victims they would be investing in African oil programs.