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Jackson attorney pleads guilty in state’s largest-ever Ponzi scheme

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A Jackson attorney has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud investors in a timber investment scheme out of millions of dollars.

Jon Darrell Seawright, 50, admitted before United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves on Thursday that he and a co-conspirator, from 2011-2018, participated in a scheme to defraud investors by soliciting millions of dollars under false pretenses and failing to use investor funds as promised.

As part of the largest Ponzi scheme in Mississippi history, Seawright and his co-conspirator told investors that they were in the business of loaning funds to a “timber broker” to buy timber rights from landowners before selling those rights to lumber mills at higher prices. The two promised investors that they would see a return of 10% or more over 12 or 13 months on each unit of invested capital. However, there were no real contracts for timber and lumber mills.

Seawright will be sentenced in November to a maximum of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Ponzi scheme leader to serve 20 years in prison

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