Defense asks for 60-day delay in Wilson case - FOX Carolina 21

Defense asks for 60-day delay in Wilson case

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Ronnie Wilson (atlanticbullionandcoin.com) Ronnie Wilson (atlanticbullionandcoin.com)
GREENVILLE, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

Victims of the alleged silver investment scheme received a letter this week that said Ronnie Wilson was expected to plead guilty to fraud charges.

In a letter dated April 23, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said a hearing was scheduled for May 15 at the federal courthouse in Greenville so the defendants, including Wilson, can enter a plea of guilty.

On Thursday, Wilson's attorneys asked a judge for a 60-day delay on that hearing, a request with which they said prosecutors agree.

The letter said that victims of the charged offenses have the chance to speak at the hearing if they notify the office in advance. The letter also informed victims that while they have protections under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, they may not be notified in advance of a plea agreement because they can be made at any time, as late as the morning of a trial.

Wilson was charged with mail fraud after authorities said he took millions of dollars from investors but never actually bought them the silver bullion he promised through his Anderson County-based business, Atlantic Bullion & Coin.

Secret Service agents raided his office in March, 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.

Also on Monday, Nettles asked a judge to choose someone to take control of Wilson's assets and come up with a fair way to distribute them.

Prosecutors said more than 900 people invested about $90 million with Wilson, who was accused of altering receipts to increase the precious metal's purchase price when a customer went to cash it in so he could keep the scheme going.

Wilson has been released on bond. The plea hearing date could change, according Nettles' letter.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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