U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23792 / March 29, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark A. Jones, No. 1:16-cv-10524-RGS (D. Mass.)
Court Enters Judgment Against Operator of Ponzi Scheme that Claimed to Offer "Bridge Loans" to Jamaican Businesses
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a final judgment by default against former Boston resident Mark Anderson Jones, in a case alleging that he operated a nearly $10 million Ponzi scheme involving purported "bridge loans" to Jamaican businesses. Among other things, the court ordered Jones to pay more than $3.9 million of allegedly ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
On March 15, 2016, the SEC filed a civil injunctive action in federal court in Boston alleging that from approximately 2007 through 2015, Jones raised money by issuing promissory notes and personal guarantees to around 21 investors in several states and Washington, D.C. Jones allegedly solicited investors to invest in an enterprise he called "The Bridge Fund" that purportedly provided high-yielding "bridge loans" to Jamaican businesses waiting for funding from approved commercial bank loans. The SEC alleged that, instead of investing the money as he had promised, Jones used a large portion to make Ponzi payments to other investors and some to pay for his own personal expenses. The complaint alleged that many of the investors are retirees who are not sophisticated investors. Jones is alleged to have issued periodic account statements to investors, some of whom routinely received payments, while others rolled over the "accrued interest" in their accounts. Beginning in 2015, Jones allegedly failed to make certain interest payments. According to the complaint, in July 2015, an attorney representing Jones informed many of the investors that Jones had used their funds for personal living expenses and to pay other investors. The complaint further alleged that evidence from Jones' bank records supports the admission made on behalf of Jones by his attorney that he used investor funds to pay other investors.
In its order, the court permanently enjoined Jones from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. In addition, the court also ordered Jones to disgorge $3,586,510 of profits gained as a result of the conduct alleged, prejudgment interest of $236,463.48, and to pay a civil penalty of $160,000.
The SEC's case litigation was handled by Frank Huntington, J. Lauchlan Wash, Xinyue Angela Lin, Sofia Hussain, and Amy Gwiazda in the SEC's Boston Regional Office.
For further information, see Litigation Release No. 23490 (March 16, 2016) [Civil Complaint].