COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The wife and brother of a former Anderson County councilman in prison for a Ponzi scheme have been charged with helping hide assets, federal officials said Tuesday.
Cassandra Kendall Wilson, 66, of Woodruff, and Timothy L. Wilson, 60, of Martin, Tennessee, have each been charged with conspiracy to defraud the government, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said in a news release.
Authorities say they helped Ronnie Wilson, 67, stash hundreds of thousands of dollars before a court-appointed receiver could find the money and try to disburse it to investors Wilson had defrauded.
Ronnie Wilson is serving a 19-year sentence for mail fraud. Prosecutors say he and another man promised to buy and sell silver for hundreds of customers through his business, Atlantic Bullion & Coin, but invested little of the $90 million they took in and either lost the money or kept it for themselves.
Authorities also said Wilson told investigators he bought silver and shipped it to customers but ultimately changed receipts to keep the scheme going, losing nearly $60 million.
Wilson was arrested in April 2012. Starting the same month, federal prosecutors say he gave his wife and brother ammunition canisters full of money. Cassandra Wilson ultimately lied about the money during a deposition, prosecutors said, and Ronnie Wilson falsely told investigators he hadn’t hidden any assets.
Greenville attorney Beattie Ashmore, the court-appointed receiver collecting Ronnie Wilson’s assets and compensating defrauded investors, said Tuesday that Wilson’s wife and brother hid nearly $400,000 in gold, silver and cash from the government.
Court records listed no attorneys for Cassandra or Timothy Wilson. If convicted, they could each face five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
Ronnie Wilson is also charged with lying about hiding the money. If convicted, he could face an additional 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Three other people have been found guilty of charges related to the Ponzi scheme and hiding assets.
Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
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