Arizona brothers arrested in Wilson Ponzi scheme


By Stan Welch

Two brothers from Arizona have become the latest suspects entangled in the Ponzi scheme run by former Anderson County Council member Ron Wilson. Gordon and Benton Hall have been indicted and arrested on charges related to the efforts of the brothers to help another defendant in the case hide and retain at least $1.5 million he allegedly accrued during his involvement in the scheme.

Wallace Lindsey Howell, an associate of Wilson’s, was arrested not long after Wilson, for his part in the scheme. Howell, upon his arrest , refused to cooperate with officials on even the most basic level. He refused to give his name, or to obey instructions of the court. Eventually, he was indicted and has since plead guilty to mail fraud conspiracy.

According to media reports, the Hall brothers have exhibited a similar lack of basic cooperation. Court documents reflect the pair’s “lack of acceptance of the court’s authority.”

He is awaiting sentencing, while Wilson has already begun serving a sentence of more than nineteen years in a federal minimum security prison.

The Halls apparently entered into an arrangement to pay Howell’s legal bills and provide him with a regular stipend for life. The indictment charges that the brothers and Howell conspired and agreed to the plan while using interstate commerce. Three alleged acts of mail fraud are included in the indictment.

The brothers are in transit to South Carolina to face trial. Howell was originally listed as the director of a trust which owned more than 100 acres on the Enoree River . That property was included on the list of properties to be seized by the federally appointed receiver, Beattie Ashmore.

Efforts to seize fifty five gold coins, one thousand ounces of silver bullion, a 2008 Dodge truck and an eleven acre tract of land , in conjunction with the indictment and arrests of the Hall brothers, makes it clear that the Wilson case is far from over.