Local News

Financial Adviser Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Posted April 4, 2007 3:39 p.m. EDT

— A financial adviser that authorities said stole more than $8.6 million from investors has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

Joe Jones pleaded guilty to 41 counts of securities violations and five counts of obtaining property by false pretense. He was sentenced to between 20 and 26 years in prison.

"Joe Jones is one of the worst financial crooks in North Carolina history, and this week we got to see that, no matter how well
you spin a web of lies around your victims, law enforcement can unravel it," Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said in a statement.

Investors in Rocky Mount and the surrounding region invested millions with Jones with the understanding that their money would be invested in concert promotions with a company called BAB Productions. State securities investigators found that Jones used the money from later investors to repay earlier investors in a classic Ponzi scheme.

"Sadly, most of the money in this case appears to be gone, leaving little chance of these investors getting their money back. But we hope that this guilty plea and the substantial prison sentence will give them some measure of satisfaction," Marshall said.

Some of Jones' clients have filed an arbitration claim against the company under which he operated, Investors Capital Corp., to try to get some of their money back.