The Attorney General's Office froze Ronnie Wilson's accounts Thursday, the same day Upstate lawmakers announced investors would have another chance to air grievances and give testimony as a part of an investigation into Wilson's alleged Ponzi scheme.
State Sen. Kevin Bryant of Anderson, and State Rep. Josh Putnam, also of Anderson, are hosting a forum this Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at Tri-County Tech's Easley campus. The meeting is for investors only.
The lawmakers are bringing in state and local agencies dealing with the case to shed light on the investigation and to take testimony from any investors, which may be used in the investigation.
Authorities are investigating claims that Wilson's business, Atlantic Bullion & Coin, was running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme with investors' money.
Secret Service agents raided his office last week, looking for computers, files and silver. A complaint by the South Carolina attorney general's office said investors were told their money was being used to buy silver, but little was purchased for them.
On Monday, more than 300 people met to discuss a class action lawsuit with attorneys. All of the people at the meeting gave Wilson and his company their money.
Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Attorney General's Office and Secret Service will be in attendance along with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, according to Putnam.
Both lawmakers are also sponsors of bills in their respective houses aimed at helping stop people from being scammed in the future.
Bryant's bill would require all cease and desist orders to be posted on the Attorney General's website, while Putnam's bill would require businesses to post cease and desist orders on the outside of their business or face civil penalties.
Both bills are currently in committee and may eventually be combined into one bill. Bryant said the reason for the bill is that Wilson was given a cease and desist in 1996, but that information wasn't readily available to the public.
Wilson's accounts frozen
On Thursday, Attorney General's Office won a court to order to freeze Wilson's accounts.
Mark Plowden, the Communications Director for the Office of the Attorney General, said when the complaint was filed earlier in March, Southern First Bank Shares placed a hold on the company's accounts, but officials had to file an amended complaint before a judge.
Plowden said Wilson has a legal right to challenge the filing at a public hearing, which was scheduled by the judge for Mar. 29 at 10 a.m. at the Richland County Courthouse.
Wilson has barely been seen in public since the formal complaint was filed and news broke that Wilson was accused of duping investors across 25 states into thinking they were buying silver and making big profits.
Those documents said in reality, Wilson never bought any precious metals and was paying investors' lofty dividends with other investors' money.
It is not known if Wilson will contest and appear at next week's hearing. Plowden said Wilson has filed a motion in opposition to the Attorney General's Office's filings, and was granted a hearing by the judge.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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