2 Jackson men charged in multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced that two men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their role in a large multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. According to U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca, the scheme affected hundreds of victims across multiple states over a number of years.

Ted Brent Alexander, 55, and Jon Darrell Seawright, 49, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge LaKeysha G. Isaac on Thursday for their initial appearance and arraignment on the indictment. The case is currently scheduled to go to trial on July 6, 2021, before United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves in Jackson.

Both men have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud; one count of securities fraud; and four counts of wire fraud involving a scheme to defraud investors, all in connection with a Ponzi scheme promising guaranteed returns to investors who thought they were lending money to a ‘broker” enterprise purchasing timber that was then marketed to multiple lumber mills.

According to the indictment, from January 2011 through December 2018, Alexander and Seawright misled their investors to believe that Alexander and Seawright were the principal actors in the venture, while downplaying and concealing from investors the true fact that the “broker” was Madison Timber Properties, LLC, a company wholly owned by Arthur Lamar Adams, and there were no real contracts for timber and lumber mills. Adams was previously convicted and sentenced for his role in the Ponzi scheme. 

The indictment alleges that, during the course of their scheme and artifice to defraud, Alexander and Seawright solicited over twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) from more than fifty (50) investors.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.

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