Federal authorities announced criminal charges against a convicted Ponzi schemer, as well as his wife and brother, for conspiring to hide more than $400,000 in gold, silver, and currency in ammunition canisters out of the reach of authorities. Ronnie G. Wilson, Cassie Wilson, and Tim Wilson each face a single charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Ronnie Wilson, who is currently serving a 19.5-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to a $58 million Ponzi scheme, also faces an additional charge of making false statements to an agent of the U.S. Secret Service.
Wilson was arrested by authorities in early April 2012 on accusations that his company, Atlantic Bullion and Coin, Inc. ("ABC") was operating a massive Ponzi scheme that promised above-average returns to investors through the purchase and sale of silver futures contracts. While the contracts entailed the purchase of significant amounts of silver, Wilson told investors that he would manage and store the silver on their behalf at a Delaware depository. From 2001 to 2012, the scheme raised more than $90 million from approximately 1,000 investors. Wilson subsequently pleaded guilty to two charges of mail fraud and received a 19.5 year sentence.
Around the time of his arrest in April 2012, authorities now claim that Wilson gave his brother, Timothy Wilson, an ammunition canister containing gold, silver, and U.S. currency to hide from authorities. Later that summer, Wilson allegedly gave another ammunition canister full of bullion and currency to his wife, Cassie Wilson, who would later conceal this fact from the court-appointed receiver testify tasked with recovering assets for victims. In total, the bullion and money totaled over $400,000.
In an announcement, court-appointed Receiver Beattie Ashmore indicated that the assets had been recovered for the benefit of Wilson's victims, and promised that:
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.
The Receiver's website is here.
The indictment is below: