Former Massachusetts Man Sentenced for Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme
BOSTON – A former Massachusetts man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with running a $10 million Ponzi scheme.
Mark Anderson Jones, 64, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Mark L. Wolf to 70 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $3,749,039 and forfeiture. In September 2016, Jones pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in proceeds of unlawful activity.
Between 2008 and 2015, Jones obtained more than $10 million in investments from over 20 individuals by leading them to believe that they would be providing financing to Jamaican businesses. Because Jamaican banks can take time to close business loans, Jones claimed that he was offering these businesses “bridge loans” as an interim measure, i.e., loans to bridge the gap between the date a business sought a loan from a Jamaican bank and the date the bank actually distributes the requested funds. However, Jones misled investors about the purported bridge loan investments and how their money would be used. Specifically, rather than investing in bridge loans and paying returns based on those investments, Jones used new capital to either repay investment principal or to pay purported returns to earlier investors. For example, in January 2015, a Massachusetts-based victim invested approximately $200,000 with Jones. Later that month, Jones used approximately $180,000 of that investor’s money to pay four other investors.
Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement. Valuable assistance was also provided by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Forni from the SEC prosecuted the case.