Atlantic Bullion & Coin
By Stan Welch
The saga of Ponzi scheme architect and federal convict Ron Wilson continues, as US Attorney Bill Nettles announced a new indictment of Wilson, his wife and his brother Tuesday.
Nettles, the lead attorney on the Wilson case, informed the media that Wilson has been indicted on two new charges; conspiracy to obstruct justice and giving false statements to federal agents. According to the indictment, issued by a federal grand jury earlier in the day (Tuesday), Wilson gave his brother Timothy L. Wilson an ammunition canister filled with gold and silver coins and additional currency.
Ron Wilson did so after he had been arrested on the original charges, and had given sworn statements that he had no other assets in hand. Timothy Wilson subsequently hid that canister, in an effort to withhold it from the federally appointed receiver. The indictment further alleges that Ron Wilson also gave his wife Cassandra Wilson a similar canister, filled with silver, gold and currency.
During a deposition earlier this year, she concealed that information from the federal receiver. As a result she faces a charge of lying to federal agents, and could face five years in prison, if convicted. Federal receiver Beattie Ashmore told the media that the total of $400,000 given to Timothy and Cassandra Wilson had been recovered, and would be added to the pool of recovered assets that will eventually be distributed to Wilson’s 798 victims.
Three other participants in the Ponzi scheme, which saw Wilson bilk hundreds of victims out of almost $60 million, have plead guilty and been sentenced to time in prison. In February, Wallace Lindsey Howell, of Mauldin, was sentenced to twelve months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was also ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution.
He sought the assistance of two brothers in hiding assets from the federal receiver. According to the press release issued Tuesday, he transferred $1.5 million in coins, currency and other assets to the brothers to hide for him.
The two Arizona brothers, Benton T. Hall and Gordon L. Hall are facing additional federal charges unrelated to the Wilson case. Benton Hall was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison and restitution of $172,000 for conspiracy to obstruct justice. His brother, Gordon Hall, was sentenced to fifteen years for conspiracy to obstruct justice and wire fraud. He is also sentenced to pay $172,000 in restitution.
Assistant US Attorney Bill Watkins said that Howell is serving his time at the federal prison in Edgefield, South Carolina, while no determination has been made on the Hall Brothers, due to the additional pending charges.
Nettles would neither confirm nor deny the continuation of any criminal investigation related to Wilson’s Ponzi scheme; but he stressed that his office, with the help of the secret Service and the federal receiver, continue to aggressively and actively pursue all possible assets.
“We are trying to save some of the futures that these victims placed in Ron Wilson’s hands,” said Nettles. Ashmore Beattie said that Wilson had spent, squandered, and secreted his money, but added that he is pleasantly surprised by the early success in seeking those assets.
“When I was appointed to this case, I was very, very pessimistic about our prospects. Now, I am just pessimistic.” He added that anyone wishing to make a claim for restitution had until October 15 to submit the proper forms. Those forms are available on the website www.receiverwilsonabc.com