The wife and brother of a South Carolina man currently jailed for operating a $60 million Ponzi scheme will not serve their own stints in prison after previously pleading guilty to hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gold coins from authorities. Cassandra Kendall Wilson, 66, and Timothy L. Wilson, 60, will each serve nine months of home confinement for their admitted role in assisting Ronnie Wilson in concealing more than $400,000 in currency and precious metals from authorities. Each could have faced a potential sentence of up to five years in federal prison. The Ponzi mastermind, Ronnie Wilson, who is currently serving a 19.5-year sentence in federal prison, was unable to secure a similar arrangement as he received an additional six-month sentence for his role in the concealment.
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, 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, Cassandra, who would later conceal this fact from the court-appointed receiver testify tasked with recovering assets for victims. In total, the value of the precious metals and currency exceeded $400,000.
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: