A Jackson, Ohio, man pleaded guilty Monday to charges relating to a $50 million Ponzi scheme.
Jason Adkins, 40, pleaded guilty to six counts of money laundering, three counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion relating to fraudulent off-the-road tire businesses.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman said from 2012 to 2018, Adkins would tell investors he could purchase tires, which are typically used in construction, at a discounted price and re-sell them for a profit. Instead, he used investments to purchase cars and vacations, and pay off earlier investors.
The Ponzi scheme defrauded investors of at least $50 million, Glassman argued, saying he expects the ongoing nationwide investigation to uncover more.
“Adkins admitted in court today to at least 46 victims,” Glassman said. “The United States believes that the number will ultimately be a lot higher than that.”
Once Adkins is sentenced, U.S. authorities will forfeit as much of his money as they can find and use that to pay restitution to the victims.
“Unfortunately, when you're dealing with a Ponzi scheme, more often than not, the money is mostly spent by the time the authorities catch the perpetrator,” Glassman said.
Adkins is cooperating with the investigation. He faces a maximum of 185 years in prison.