Federal Agency Charges Ron Wilson with Operating $90M Ponzi Scheme
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's civil enforcement action charges Wilson and Atlantic Bullion & Coin with fraud.
A federal agency has filed an action against former Anderson County Councilman Ron Wilson, alleging that Wilson and his company, Atlantic Bullion & Coin, Inc., operated a Ponzi scheme that bilked silver investors out of millions.
Wilson was charged earlier this year with mail fraud, for allegedly “knowingly devised a scheme or used an artifice to defraud and used the United States mail in executing this scheme.”
Those mail fraud charges are only criminal charges filed against Wilson so far. Earlier this year, State Attorney General Alan Wilson filed a complaint against Wilson and his business, alleging that Wilson had promised investors he would invest their fund into silver purchases, but had never actually purchased or delivered any silver.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) announced last week that it had filed a federal civil enforcement action against Wilson and Atlantic Bullion & Coin, which is based in Easley.
The action charges Wilson and AB&C with fraud in connection with operating a $90 million Ponzi scheme, and alleges that Wilson and AB&C violated the Commodity Exchange Act and CTFC regulations.
The agency's complaint charges that Section 6(c)1 of the CEA and CTFC's Regulation 180.1 (a), “prohibiting the use of any manipulative or deceptive device, scheme or contrivance to defraud in connection with a sale of contract of any commodity interstate commerce” were violated.
According to the complaint, the alleged Ponzi scheme operated for at least 11 years, from 2001 to Feb. 29 2012.
The complaint charges that Wilson and AB&C operated a Ponzi scheme and, as part of the scheme, “fraudulently offered sales of silver.”
The defendants allegedly “fraudulently obtained at least $90.1 million from at least 945 investors for the purchase of silver,” a CFTC release states.
From August 15, 2011 through Feb. 29, 2012, the complaint states the defendants allegedly “fraudulently obtained at least $11.53 million from at least 237 investors in 16 states for the purchase of sale of silver.”
Thanks to new provisions contained in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the CFTC has jurisdiction over the defendants' actions in that time period, the release states.
The complaint further alleges that during the same time period, defendants “failed to purchase any silver whatsoever.”
“Instead the defendants allegedly misappropriated all of the investors' funds, and to conceal their fraud, issued phony account statements to investors,” the release states.
The Commission is seeking restitution for the defrauded investors, “return of ill-gotten gains,” civil monetary penalties, trading and registration bans, and permanent injunctions against further violations of the federal commodities laws, the release states.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greenville, and the U.S. Secret Service assisted the CFTC in the case, according to the release.