Hookin' for Dollars

From streetwalker to Wall Street, Candy Wilson has flown high and fallen hard. Now, her failing brokerage and anti-porn Internet company have left a trail of angry investors.

Ten minutes later, 25-year-old Candy shows up at Billings' motel door.

After a few minutes of chitchat, Candy cuts to the chase.

"Finally she stated that it will cost him $40 for French and $60 for straight sex," Billings' police report states.

Brian Stauffer
Arizona Capital's trading suites are located in a plush north Scottsdale office building.
Jackie Mercandetti
Arizona Capital's trading suites are located in a plush north Scottsdale office building.

Billings "asked her what French meant, and she stated, A blow job,'" the report states.

"At that point, [Candy] was informed she was under arrest and was transported and booked," Billings' report says.

Police records indicate no charges were ever filed in connection with the arrest.

It was just another night on the town for Candy Gail Wilson.

The arrests continued after Wilson turned in her call girl card and started working at a massage parlor. From November 1979 through December 1981, Wilson was the assistant manager and masseuse at Diane's Health Club in Minneapolis, state records show.

In November 1980, two undercover police officers arrested Wilson and another woman for solicitation while working at Diane's Health Club, according to Wilson's employment disclosure form. She says these charges were later dismissed.

But a few months later, in April 1981, police returned to Diane's and arrested Wilson for operating a "disorderly house." Those charges were later reduced to disorderly conduct and a $500 fine was paid, she states in the disclosure report.

In a civil suit deposition obtained by New Times, Wilson says that, after the second prostitution arrest at Diane's, she "decided it was time to move on with my life."

A semester short of a college degree, with a young son under her arm, Wilson moved to Arizona in 1982 and worked a series of clerical jobs before landing a position as a brokerage assistant in 1984 with R.L. Kotrozo Incorporated.

She rose in the ranks and was lured away to work at West America Securities in 1990. A year later, Wilson was hired as the compliance officer at Mason, Hunt & Company for a short-lived stint that ended when the company shut down in the midst of fraud allegations.

Wilson was then hired by W&B McKee Securities in 1991, again as the company compliance officer who was in charge of making sure brokers were adhering to federal and state trading regulations.

She soon became head of retail trading at the firm. Before long, Wilson ran afoul of National Association of Security Dealers' rules. In 1994, the NASD censured Wilson and fined her $2,500 for failing to promptly deposit customer funds in an escrow account. She paid the fine on April 18, 1995. (Wilson would commit the same offense five years later at her own company and was fined $3,750.)

Wilson tried to start her own brokerage firm with David Gold, a friend from upstate New York. But the duo couldn't raise the money needed to open. Gold and Wilson would hook up again a few years later during the Mayberry rollout.

In July 1995, Wilson joined New Jersey-based Montauk Securities, opening a branch office for the company in Scottsdale. She left the firm 18 months later after a dispute over an investment banking commission.

In early 1997, Wilson opened her own brokerage company with the blessings of state and federal regulators. Her previous prostitution arrests, the securities trading censure and fine, her lack of a college degree and history of working at firms that had sketchy histories didn't stand in the way of obtaining a broker/dealer license.

Wilson's broker/dealer application could have been rejected by the state on the grounds that the prostitution arrests did not support that the applicant had a "good business reputation."

However, Corporation Commission spokeswoman Heather Murphy says Wilson disclosed the arrests on her application, there were no felony convictions and that the arrests were 16 years old when she applied for the license.

If getting regulatory approvals to open Arizona Capital Group was relatively easy, raising the necessary capital to get her firm off the ground was more difficult.

But Wilson knew where to go.

She called upon her friend Angela Cesal, a wealthy real estate investor and civic leader who was in mourning over the death of her husband.

Angela Cesal is the type of person who volunteers her time to support the arts, education and international peace.

She's had a hand in promoting events at downtown Phoenix's beautiful Orpheum Theatre. She's active in raising funds for Arizona State University and is a member of the ASU President's Club. She serves on the Phoenix Sister City committee helping to promote international friendship.

Her reputation is very important to her.

"I'm a very honest person. I don't lie. I tell people the way it is," she says. "Life is too short."

Cesal was left a widow in 1994 when her husband suddenly died from a massive heart attack. While she was financially secure from her wise real estate investments, his death was a terrible emotional blow that left her lonely and vulnerable.

"I mourned for more than five years," she says.

That's when the predators moved in.

Cesal was attending a real estate continuing education class in 1996 when the instructor introduced her to Wilson, who at the time was managing the Montauk Securities office in Scottsdale. The instructor steered Cesal into an annuity offered by Wilson -- and picked up a sizable commission.

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Jim Baker
Jim Baker

Interesting. I had Mayberry USA for a while and never had any trouble with it. I only left them because I wanted a lower cost ISP. I didn't even know they had gone under until now 9-28-09. Jim

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