Saturday, August 4, 2012

Suspect in silver scheme pleads guilty to mail fraud

With a guilty plea in hand, the government and a court-appointed receiver turned their attention to determining how much money can be recovered for the estimated 800 victims of a Ponzi scheme investigators said was operated by Ronnie Gene Wilson, a former Anderson County Council member.

Wilson, 65, pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to two counts of mail fraud and will be sentenced later. U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Wilson could face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. Wilson remained free on $1 million bond.

Wilson has been of “substantial assistance” to prosecutors and has agreed to disclose other criminal activity he is aware of, a government attorney said in court.

Nettles wouldn’t say if he anticipates more charges or arrests.

“I can tell you that we will run everything down,” he said after Wilson’s plea.

In April, federal prosecutors said in a court filing that over the last decade, documents showed that Wilson received approximately $90 million for silver investments.

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