Madison, Mississippi resident Arthur Lamar Adams was charged last month with orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme exceeding $100 million stolen from more than 250 investors in at least 14 states. Authorities describe the scheme as one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the state’s history.
The Securities and Exchange Commission likewise filed a civil complaint against Adams and Madison Timber Properties, LLC for their roles in orchestrating and operating the scheme. According to the Complaint, Arthur Lamar Adams promised investors that their money would be used by Madison Timber Properties to acquire timber harvesting rights from landowners with the proceeds from the timber harvest being paid to investors at an annual return of 12-15% interest.
Instead, in classic Ponzi scheme fashion, Adams used new investor monies to pay returns owed to existing investors and also used the funds for his own benefit, including construction of real estate investments near Oxford and Starkville, Mississippi. Adams did not inform his investors of the real estate developments and the investors did not acquire any legal interest in the properties.
To help perpetrate the scheme, Adams allegedly created and forged phony documents such as timber deeds, timber cutting agreements, and tract summaries purporting to show the value of timber on the bogus tracts. Adams also promised exclusive rights to a particular tract to certain investors, while actually giving “rights” to the same tracts to multiple parties, according to the SEC complaint.
Last month, Adams pled guilty to the criminal charges and will be sentenced in August. He faces a potential 70 year prison sentence and fines totaling $1.5 million. He will also be required to make restitution to his victims and forfeit all funds and assets related to the Ponzi scheme.
If you or someone you know lost money as the result of Arthur Lamar Adams and his Madison Timber Properties Ponzi scheme, please call the Frankowski Firm at 888.741.7503 or fill out this contact form.