JACKSON, OH (WOWK) – An Ohio man will spend nine years behind bars for orchestrating a $50 million Ponzi scheme.
According to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Kenneth L. Parker, Jason E. Adkins, 46, of Jackson was convicted of defrauding more than 50 investors, soliciting victims from around the country and the world. He was sentenced in court to 108 months in prison.
Parker says court documents show that Adkins conspired and solicited millions from investors under false pretenses between 2012 and 2018. He also failed to invest the victims’ funds and misappropriated those funds to benefit himself and others.
“The victims in this case had their lives upended, their life savings taken, and their security ripped away, all while Adkins enriched himself and lived lavishly” said Parker. “Adkins deserves the prison sentence he received today.”
Court documents say Adkins, along with others involved in the scheme, claimed to buy and sell over-sized, off-the-road tires used for earth moving equipment and mining equipment. Adkins told investors the money they invested would be used to buy the tires for cheap so they could be resold at a higher rate, according to court documents. Parker says Adkins promised the investors 15%-20% of the rate of return and that they would get it within 180 days and would sometimes pay the victims for the first transaction.
The scheme also included a “sham escrow agent” hired by Adkins and his co-conspirators who would falsely reassure the victims, according to Parker. Court documents say more than $80 million flowed through the “agent’s” accounts in connection to the scheme.
Adkins and others claimed that they bought and sold over-sized tires commonly known as off-the-road tires, which are used on earth moving equipment and/or mining equipment. Investors were told their money would be used to buy the tires at a steep discount, and that the tires would then be re-sold to a buyer at a much higher rate.
The court also convicted Adkins of laundering the money for at least five years, claiming he also invested in “front businesses” his co-conspirators created. Adkins is accused of using the money he got out of the scheme to buy cars, take vacations, buy property, construct a pool at his home and lease a private jet for more than $20,000.
Parker also says Adkins did not file individual income tax returns that reported the income from his scheme.