Jailed Ponzi Schemer, 2 Family Members Indicted In Alleged Asset-Concealment Conspiracy; Cash Allegedly Hidden In ‘Ammunition Canister’; Case Follows On Heels Of Case In Which Now-Convicted Pitchman Tried To Duck Clawback Lawsuit

breakingnews72So, you want to hide assets from a court-appointed receiver in a Ponzi scheme case? And when the U.S. Secret Service asks questions, you want to lie?

South Carolina Ponzi schemer Ronnie Gene Wilson — sentenced in November 2012 to serve nearly 20 years for the Atlantic Bullion and Coin Inc. fraud — has been indicted on new charges from his prison cell. Two members of his family also have been indicted.

An announcement published on the website of court-appointed receiver Beattie B. Ashmore says Wilson, whom the Federal Bureau of Prisons says is 67, has been indicted post-sentencing “concerning the hiding and concealment of assets from the government and the Receiver.”

Also indicted were Wilson’s wife, Cassie Wilson, and his brother, Tim Wilson. The case is being prosecuted by the office of U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles of the District of South Carolina.

“The Receiver’s office has recovered over $400,000.00 in gold, silver, and cash from Cassie Wilson and Tim Wilson in the last six months,” Ashmore said in the announcement. “These assets were delivered to them by Ronnie Gene Wilson after his arrest in an effort to hide these assets from the Receiver. This indictment reflects the government and Receiver’s persistent efforts to recover assets for the purpose of paying back the victims of the Ponzi scheme. This indictment will be followed by a number of lawsuits to be filed by the Receiver against those that profited from the Ronnie Gene Wilson Ponzi scheme.”

From the indictment (italics added):

On or about September 20, 2012, in the District of South Carolina, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government of the United States, RONNIE GENE WILSON, did knowingly and willfully make a false, fraudulent and fictitious material statement and representation the same to be false, that is RONNIE GENE WILSON made false statements to an agent of the United States Secret Service that he had not hidden or transferred assets when, in fact, he well knew that he had secreted assets with family members. All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 (a )(2).

The indictment alleges that Wilson gave his brother “an ammunition canister containing United States currency” in April 2012, shortly after the federal Ponzi probe began.

Tim Wilson “hid an ammunition canister containing United States currency,” the indictment alleges.

It further alleges that later, in the summer of 2012, Ronnie Wilson gave his wife “an ammunition canister containing United States currency.”

And in February 2014, according to the indictment, Cassie Wilson “during a deposition concealed from counsel for the Federal Receiver her possession of the ammunition canister containing federal currency.”

Also from the indictment (italics added):

[The Grand Jury charges] [t]hat beginning in or about April 2012, and continuing up and to the date of this Indictment, in the District of South Carolina and elsewhere, the Defendants, RONNIE GENE WILSON, TIMOTHY L. WILSON and
CASSANDRA K. WILSON, knowingly and willfully did combine, conspire, confederate, agree and have a tacit understanding with each other and with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to corruptly influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice in the investigation and prosecution of United States v. Ronnie Gene Wilson, et al., No. 8:12-320, and in the investigation and prosecution of In re Receiver for Ronnie Gene Wilson, et al., No.8: 12-2078, by the hiding and transferring of assets to prevent or impair the Government’s lawful authority to take such property under its lawful custody and control, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1503, 1512(c) & 2232(a).

See March 16, 2012, PP Blog story for additional background.

Visit the receiver’s website.

In December 2013, Benton T. Hall, 22, of Mesa, Ariz., pleaded guilty a federal charge of trying to hide assets from Ashmore and the Feds in the Atlantic Bullion and Coin case. Hall worked with Wallace Lindsey Howell, 61, of Mauldin, S.C., prosecutors said.

“Once Howell learned that Secret Service was investigating and that Wilson would be charged, he sought assistance from Benton T. Hall and others in hiding assets that had been acquired with Ponzi money,” prosecutors said.  “Howell was afraid that the federal receiver working to marshal assets related to the Wilson Ponzi fraud would ‘claw back’ this assets so they could be distributed to the victims of the Ponzi scheme.

“Howell transferred to Benton T. Hall and others approximately $1.5 million in property, gold and silver coins, equipment, and cash.  Benton T. Hall then worked to hide this money from the federal receiver and law enforcement,” prosecutors said.

Howell, a Wilson pitchman, pleaded guilty in January 2013 to wire-fraud conspiracy.

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One Response to “Jailed Ponzi Schemer, 2 Family Members Indicted In Alleged Asset-Concealment Conspiracy; Cash Allegedly Hidden In ‘Ammunition Canister’; Case Follows On Heels Of Case In Which Now-Convicted Pitchman Tried To Duck Clawback Lawsuit”

  1. Sounds like “willful blindness”, i.e. “I don’t know and I don’t want to know.”

      (Quote)

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