Ronnie Gene Wilson, a former County Councilman with Anderson County has been charged with conning investors to the tune of $70 million. The complaint has been filed against him by the South Carolina securities commissioner. Wilson managed to get people to believe that they were investing in silver but was doing no such thing, according to the charges.
He was assisted in this alleged Ponzi scheme by the Atlantic Bullion and Coin Inc. which is also on the radar of the South Carolina securities commissioner. Wilson continued to offer allegedly fake investments to his victims despite a ‘cease and desist’ order against him and Atlantic Bullion. Wilson also scammed people not just in South Carolina but around 24 states as well, according to the complaint.
According to the charges, Atlantic Bullion and Wilson even furnished false statements to the investors giving them completely fabricated details of their investments. Even though Wilson testified before the Securities Division saying that he had indeed purchased silver, there is no evidence of that, charged the complaint: not only had no silver been purchased but the money raised from the investors was instead used to pay off other debts and investors.
Some of Wilson’s investors include senior citizens and retirees who have now seen their life savings wiped out with very little chance of getting it back. Wilson allegedly managed to raise money not just from this “target” sector but from people like Paul Brown as well. Brown is a journalist and contributor to News 4. He trusted Wilson enough to invest his entire savings with him and was rewarded only with the loss of the same.
Wilson was a councilman with the Anderson County Council District 6 and also had attempted to run for a seat in the South Carolina senate in 2004. From 2002 to 2004, Wilson served as the national commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He also has a history of being involved in some questionable financial dealings in the past. In 2009, he came under criticism from the Anderson County Republican Party which accused him of awarding contracts with a bias. One such contract was a $1.14 million buyout contract to a former county administrator just a few days after Wilson’s daughter got an open ended contract.