Seller Of Shipping Containers Convicted Of Fraud
HOUSTON – Steven Patrick Jones, 49, of Kingwood, and Panama City, Panama, has pleaded guilty to mail fraud, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Jones has admitted he and a partner formed a company called Intermodal Wealth to sell shipping containers. Intermodal offered to sell shipping containers to investors, then lease the containers for the investors. Jones promised to pay their investors 16% per year from the proceeds of the leases.
However, the company had few containers and did not lease any of them. Payments were made to investors, but the funds came from subsequent investors rather than from true proceeds.
Intermodal received more than $5.5 million from investors throughout the United States and worldwide. Jones, his family and partners spent the majority of the investment funds they received.
John Patrick Acord, 71, of Magnolia, is named in the indictment as Jones’ partner. He is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 713-238-4444. He is considered innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
U.S. District Judge Gray Miller, who accepted the guilty plea today, has set sentencing for Sept. 5, 2014. At that time, Jones faces up to 20 years in federal prison without parole and a fine of up to $250,000. He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case with the assistance of the Texas State Securities Board. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman is prosecuting.