BOSTON – A former Massachusetts-resident pleaded guilty on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with running a $10 million Ponzi scheme.
Mark Anderson Jones, 64, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in proceeds of unlawful activity. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for Dec. 21, 2016.
Between 2008 and 2015, Jones obtained approximately $10 million in investments from over 20 individuals by leading them to believe that they would be providing financing to Jamaican businesses. Jamaican banks can take time to close loans to businesses and Jones claimed that he was offering these businesses “bridge loans” as an interim measure (i.e., to “bridge” the gap between the date a loan was sought from Jamaican banks and the distribution of funds by those banks). However, Jones made misrepresentations to 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 investments, Jones paid a significant amount of investment returns, or repaid investment principal, to investors from new capital provided by other investors.
For example, in January 2015, a Massachusetts-based investor invested approximately $200,000 with Jones. Later that month, Jones used approximately $180,000 of that investor’s money to pay four other investors.
U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz 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. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah E. Walters, Chief of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Forni from the SEC.