- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 27, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The wife of a former Mississippi businessman sentenced for the largest Ponzi scheme in state history is divorcing him, the Clarion Ledger reports citing government records.

Vickie Lynn Adams is divorcing her husband Arthur “Lamar” Adams, who was sentenced in October to almost 20 years in prison for operating the $100 million scam. He owned Madison Timber Properties and defrauded up to 300 investors through the company, prosecutors said.

The scheme lasted more than 10 years. Prosecutors say Adams sold bogus timber rights, promising interest rates of 12 percent or more. In reality, though, Adams was using new money to pay off old investors.

The couple married in 1978 and Vickie Lynn Adams owns half their property, which she has agreed to sell to help repay Lamar Adams‘ investors.

In October, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves sentenced Lamar Adams to 19½ years in prison. The Madison County businessman pleaded guilty in May to one count of wire fraud. He reported to a federal prison in Arkansas last month.

Last week, Reeves approved a settlement reached by Vickie Lynn Adams and the court-appointed receiver to try to recoup some of the money the investors lost. He also lifted a stay of action on her divorce, meaning she can now proceed with it.

The newspaper could not reach Vicki Lynn Adams for comment Monday. She previously said that she had no knowledge her husband’s business was a Ponzi scheme until the FBI met with him last year, prior to him being charged.

The receiver the judge appointed, Alysson Mills, has filed a lawsuit and taken other actions to try to recover some of the money.

Mills said the University of Mississippi agreed to return about $350,000 of the more than $400,000 its athletic foundation was donated by Lamar Adams over 10 years. The university and foundation were not involved in the scheme.


Information from: The Clarion Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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