US$90 million silver bullion Ponzi scheme uncovered in South Carolina

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Wednesday that is charging defendants Ronnie Gene Wilson and Atlantic Bullion & Coin with fraud in connection with operating a $90 million Ponzi scheme.

The defendants, operating out of Easley, South Carolina, are alleged to have sold silver contracts nationwide without purchasing any physical silver .

During the 11-year long scheme, the defendants allegedly obtained at least $90.1 million from at least 945 investors for the purchase of silver.

The CFTC says the defendants were charged under new financial regulations:

"From August 15, 2011, through February 29, 2012 – the time period during which the CFTC has had jurisdiction over the defendants’ actions under new provisions contained in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 – the defendants allegedly fraudulently obtained at least $11.53 million from at least 237 investors in 16 states for the purchase of contracts of sale of silver," writes the CFTC in a news release.

"The complaint further alleges that during this period, the defendants failed to purchase any silver whatsoever. Instead, the defendants allegedly misappropriated all of the investors’ funds and to conceal their fraud, issued phony account statements to investors."

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