A 47-year-old Georgia man who prosecutors say posed as an attorney to extort his victims has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Phillip Asher — who also went by the name Phillip Reynolds– made friends with women and pretended to be an attorney to get money from them.
The FBI started to investigate Asher after a Chinese restaurant owner in the Midlands reported the scheme. Asher, who used to work at the restaurant, told the owner he would sue him and have a family member deported if his former employer did not pay $300,000.
Investigators were able to use the plot to nab Ascher in a sting. The restaurant owner agreed to pay $250,000 and took Asher to a bank, where the exchange was recorded on audio and video. FBI agents arrested him moments later.
Asher pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges. He could face 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine, but will likely get less after pleading guilty in advance.