Litigation Release No. 23648 / September 20, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark A. Jones, No. 1:16-cv-10524-RGS (D. Mass.)

United States v. Mark A. Jones, No. 1:16-cr-10220-MLW (D. Mass.)

Operator of Ponzi Scheme That Claimed to Offer "Bridge Loans" to Jamaican Businesses Pleads Guilty

On September 16, 2016, Mark Anderson Jones, a former resident of Boston, Massachusetts, pled guilty to criminal charges arising from the operation of a $10 million Ponzi scheme from approximately 2007 through 2015 involving purported bridge loans to Jamaican businesses. The criminal charges against Jones arose out of the same fraudulent conduct alleged by the SEC in a civil securities fraud action filed against Jones in March 2016.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court on March 15, 2016, alleges that Jones raised approximately $10 million from twenty-one investors in several states and Washington D.C. by issuing promissory notes and personal guarantees. Jones allegedly solicited investors to invest in an enterprise he called "The Bridge Fund" that purportedly loaned money to Jamaican businesses waiting for funding from approved commercial bank loans. The SEC alleges that, instead of investing the money as he had promised, Jones used some investor money to make Ponzi payments to other investors and used other investor money to pay for his own personal expenses.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Jones violated 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 and seeks, among other relief, a permanent injunction against further violations of the securities laws, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus pre-judgment interest and a civil penalty.

The SEC's litigation against Jones is ongoing.

For further information, see Litigation Release No. 23490 (March 16, 2016) [Civil Complaint].