The second man arrested in connection with a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $60 million pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy Monday.
Investigators said that Atlantic Bullion and Coin, a company run by former Anderson County Councilman Ronnie Wilson, duped more than 900 investors across 25 states into thinking they were buying silver and making big profits. They said Wilson never bought any precious metals and was paying investors' lofty dividends with other investors' money.
Wilson, 65, pleaded guilty in July 2012 to two counts of mail fraud as part of a plea deal. He is serving a 17-year sentence at a federal prison in Florida.
In October 2012, federal agents arrested Wallace Lindsey Howell, 60, in connection with the same scheme. He was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
According to an indictment, Howell worked with Wilson to defraud investors of nearly $3.5 million.
Howell could be sentenced to pay a fine of $250,000, 20 years in prison or both.
To date, an attorney has taken possession of the assets of Atlantic Bullion and Coin. He will liquidate the assets and distribute the proceeds to the victims of the scheme.
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Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:47:39 GMT
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