$20 Million Timber Ponzi Scam Exposed

Timber! The price of lumber has been climbing recently and even this segment of the marketplace isn’t immune to disputes and in this case, criminal charges.  

Two men , Ted Brent Alexander, 55, and Jon Darrell Seawright, 49 from Jackson, Mississippi, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their asserted role in a large, multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that adversely affected hundreds of victims across multiple states over a number of years, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and FBI Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin.

Both Alexander and Seawright are 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.

In addition, the indictment alleges that Alexander and Seawright represented to their investors that the two men would inspect each property underlying each investment, and they would verify that supposed lumber mill agreements were in existence and valid. The indictment alleges Alexander and Seawright failed to do any of those things. It is also alleged that throughout the fraud scheme, Alexander and Seawright persuaded their investors to maintain their investments and to invest additional funds, by asserting that Alexander and Seawright had their own personal funds invested in the venture. 

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.

So if a tree falls in the forest and there are people around to hear it, will it automatically end in a legal dispute?  Probably.  They are EVERYWHERE!  And when those nasty things negatively impact you and your business including landlord/tenant matters, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call in the good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!  

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