The wife and brother of a disgraced former Anderson County Councilman admitted Thursday to hiding more than $300,000 from federal investigators.
66-year-old Cassandra Kendall Wilson of Woodruff and 60-year-old Timothy L. Wilson of Martin, Ten., pleaded guilty in front of a Greenville federal court to conspiracy to obstruct justice. The two are relatives of former councilman Ronnie Gene Wilson, who is currently serving a 19-year sentence in federal prison.
Ronnie Wilson admitted in April 2012 to his role in what prosecutors call a “Ponzi scheme” worth about $90 million. Investigators say his firm Atlantic Bouillon and Coin bought and sold silver for its customers, but either lost or kept most of the money. As part of his sentence, he was ordered to pay restitution of about $57 million to nearly 800 people.
A U.S. District Court appointed a federal receiver on April 27 of the same year to seize all property, assets and estates owned, controlled, used, or in the possession of Ron Wilson. Although Secret Service agents said Ron Wilson told them in late September 2012 that he had no hidden assets or cash, the government found about $164,300 hidden in an ammunition can. Officials say his brother Timothy received this money and kept it to give to Ron after he served his sentence.
Prosecutors also say the brothers met in a hotel room in November 2012, the evening before Ron Wilson’s sentencing. They said Ron gave Timothy an envelope filled with $7000 in cash.
Secret Service agents and the court-appointed receiver said they found a second ammunition can in March. The second can contained more than $172,000. Prosecutors said Ron gave this money to his wife Cassandra Wilson sometime before his sentencing.
Greenville Judge Michelle Childs accepted Cassandra and Timothy’s guilty plea and will give the sentencing at a later date. They can face a $250,000 fine and/or 5 years in prison, with addition of a $100 special assessment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Watkins of Greenville conducted the case.