A former Anderson County councilman who already convicted of charges related to running a Ponzi scheme has now been sentenced to even more time in prison.
Federal prosecutors say 67-year-old Ronnie Wilson was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice. That will be in addition to the more than 19 years he began serving in 2012.
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.
Wilson was accused of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars from a court-appointed receiver who was tracking down assets to help repay defrauded investors. Last month, his wife and brother both pleaded guilty to their role in hiding more than $300,000 on Wilson’s orders. Investigators found the assets hidden inside a pair of ammunition canisters. Wilson was initially charged with lying to a Secret Service agent when he told that agent he had not transferred or hidden any assets. That charge was dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Wilson’s attorney said his client was trying to provide for himself in the future by putting money aside.
The Greenville News reports an inmate housed with Wilson in federal prison told investigators that the former councilman had confided with him about ammunition canisters he used to hide the money. Unknown to Wilson, that second inmate was acting as a government informant. Prosecutors say they have asked the Bureau of Prisons to move Wilson to a new facility for the second inmate’s safety.