(STL.News) – Brian D. Jones, 40, of Vevay, Ind., was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $750,000 in restitution to victims he defrauded.
According to court documents, Jones operated a business buying bull calves from dairy farms in Wisconsin and selling them to cattle ranches in Texas and Missouri. By the end of 2015, Jones had squandered funds from the cattle purchasers and was in debt with both his suppliers and purchasers.
Jones began soliciting investors in 2015, promising sizable returns for the investments. Rather than invest the funds, Jones used the money for his personal benefit, such as gambling at casinos. He used the investment funds to pay “returns” back to earlier investors as if the funds had actually generated income through investment in his business.
Jones fabricated bank documents to show that he had sizable business deposits that would soon be “released” by the bank. He also sent some checks to investors for investment returns only to have the checks bounce due to insufficient funds in his account.
Jones was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2017 and pleaded guilty to wire fraud in June 2018.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Joseph M. Deters, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black. Assistant Deputy Criminal Chief Timothy S. Mangan is representing the United States in this case.