SEC Charges Mark Jones for a Ponzi Scheme Purporting to Offer “Bridge Loans” to Jamaican Businesses
On March 15, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged former Boston resident Mark Jones with operating a $10 million Ponzi scheme that claimed to generate profits from “bridge loans” to businesses in Jamaica.
The SEC complaint charges Jones, who now lives in Miami and has a second home in Jamaica. Jones was arrested by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts filed related criminal charges against him.
According to the SEC complaint filed in federal court in Boston:
- Jones began soliciting investors starting around 2007 and said their money would be pooled and used for “bridge loans” to Jamaican businesses awaiting funds from approved commercial bank loans. Jones told investors the bridge loans would generate approximately 15% to 20% interest a year.
- Jones raised about $10 million from at least 21 investors in six states and Washington, D.C., including three of his own relatives.
- Jones appeared in YouTube videos touting investment opportunities in Jamaica and met with some investors in Jamaica to show local projects they had purportedly funded.
- Jones used investors’ money to pay other investors – the hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. He also used some investors’ money to pay his personal expenses.
- Many of those that Jones defrauded are retirees who are now in financial straits because of their investments with him.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Jones violated the antifraud provisions Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC obtained a court order on Tuesday freezing Jones’s assets and an order to repatriate investor funds that were moved overseas. The SEC’s complaint seeks a permanent injunction, return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and penalties.
For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956, by email at [email protected] or visit www.securitieslawyer101.com. This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute legal advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.