Victims Say Sentence For Man Who Stole Life Savings Isn't Long Enough

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A former Brentwood-based insurance salesman is headed to prison, but victims said the his sentence didn't fit the crime.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates exposed a year ago how John Wilson scammed the life savings from elderly clients.

Several of his victims were in federal court for his sentencing and they thought he should have to serve a lot more time.

"He's a crook. He's a coward. He picked on the elderly people who are vulnerable," Susan Gilmore said of John Wilson who had been her late mother's financial adviser.

Gilmore and two other women were visibly upset and frustrated after the sentencing hearing for Wilson who prosecutors said used his position to steal a total of a million dollars from at least ten of his elderly clients.

In court, prosecutors called it a "heartbreaking case" and described how Wilson used "lies and deceit" to prey on at least ten "vulnerable victims."

The judge told Wilson, "You destroyed so many lives."

But Wilson who plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud will spend a little more than four years in prison for what he did.

"I feel like four and a half years is just not enough for all of these people, their lives are ruined," Amy Nix said after the hearing. She said her late mother lost her home and more than $200,000 to Wilson's financial scheme.

In court, Wilson showed no emotion as he told the judge he had "made mistakes," that he was "sorry" for what he'd done and "promised to make it right someday."

"I didn't believe a word he said. I don't think he feels like he's a bad guy. I think he's just saying the words cause he knows or he thinks that's what everybody wants to hear," Nix told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

"He'll say whatever he needs to say. That's how he got us to do what all of us did," Donna Siewart added. She said she lost nearly everything she had saved to Wilson.

Siewart and the other two women were not swayed by Wilson's courtroom apology and said they couldn't forget how he'd taken their life savings and spent it on himself and his family on vacations, concerts, and a large pool at his house all while leaving them with nothing.

"How long did you want him locked up?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Siewart.

 "Ten years," she replied.

"Why?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked. 

"Because he just damaged so many people," Siewart continued. 

In addition to the prison time, Wilson was also ordered to pay $841,000 in restitution. 

 
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