Indiana Livestock Broker Charged with Fraud, Money Laundering
CINCINNATI– A federal grand jury has charged Brian D. Jones, 38, of Vevay, Indiana with defrauding investors in his livestock brokerage business.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Office, announced the indictment which was unsealed today.
The indictment alleges that Jones operated a business buying bull calves from dairy farms in Wisconsin and selling them to cattle ranches in Texas and Missouri. He began soliciting investors in 2015, promising sizable returns for the investments.
Rather than invest the funds, the indictment alleges, Jones used the funds for his personal benefit such as gambling at casinos. The indictment also alleges that Jones used the investment funds to pay “returns” back to earlier investors as if the funds had actually generated income through investment in his business. By the end of 2015, the indictment says, Jones had squandered funds from the cattle purchasers and was in debt with his suppliers and purchasers. Investigators are still calculating the number of investors and the amount of money involved in the alleged fraud.
“The indictment alleges that Jones fabricated bank documents to show that he had sizable business deposits that would soon be ‘released’ by the bank,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “He also allegedly sent checks to investors including some in the Southern District of Ohio for investment returns, only to have the checks bounce due to insufficient funds in his account.”
Jones faces four counts of wire fraud, each punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he’s convicted. The indictment also charges him with four counts of money laundering. Three are punishable by up to ten years in prison. One money laundering charges carries a potential sentence of 20 years in prison. Two additional counts seek forfeiture of all property and proceeds of any crimes of which Jones is convicted.
FBI agents arrested Jones in southern Indiana today. Jones appeared U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman for an initial appearance and to schedule further court dates.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Timothy S. Mangan, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.