Jackson Man Sentenced to Almost Twenty Years in Largest Ponzi Scheme in State History


From:  News Release   10/31/18   GCN


Jackson, Miss. – Arthur Lamar Adams, 58, of Jackson Mississippi, was sentenced today to 235 months in federal prison for wire fraud involving a large, multi-state Ponzi scheme involving more than one hundred million dollars and hundreds of victims spanning a number of years, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze.


United States District Judge Carlton Reeves sentenced Adams to serve nineteen and a half years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on a charge of wire fraud involving a scheme and artifice to defraud investors in connection with a Ponzi scheme using Madison Timber Properties, LLC, a company wholly owned by Adams. Judge Reeves ordered full restitution to be paid to the victims of the scheme. During the last year of the scheme, Adams fraudulently obtained in excess of $164.5 million dollars from more than 320 investors located in at least 14 different states.


"Justice was served today, but does not end today. While this fraudster will now spend almost the rest of his entire life behind bars, we will not rest until restitution is recovered and victims are restored. My heart goes out to those who lost their retirement, their life savings, their life lines to this greedy, selfish man. Rest assured that we will continue to work with our federal, state and local partners to root out fraud in the future and bring these criminals to justice," said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.


Over a period of at least 7 years, Adams executed this sophisticated Ponzi scheme using Madison Timber Properties, LLC, a company wholly owned by Adams. From as early as 2011 through April 2018, Adams’s scheme defrauded investors by soliciting millions of dollars of funds under false pretenses, failing to use the investors’ funds as promised, and converting investors’ funds to Adams’s own benefit without the knowledge of the investors.


Instead of investing his clients’ money, Adams used the invested funds for his own personal benefit and for purposes other than those represented to investors, which also included making payments due and owing to other investors, thus perpetuating the Ponzi scheme. During the fraudulent scheme, Adams fraudulently obtained well in excess of one hundred million dollars from more than 250 investors located in at least 14 different states.


As part of his fraudulent scheme, Adams falsely represented to investors that Madison Timber Properties was in the business of buying timber rights from landowners and then selling the timber rights to lumber mills at a higher price. The object of the scheme was to cause