Second man indicted in $85 million timber Ponzi scheme

Published 2:06 pm Friday, March 1, 2019

A second Mississippi man has been charged in a Ponzi scheme in which investors lost more than $85 million.

William McHenry of Madison pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court in Jackson to an indictment charging him with one count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud.

McHenry was a salesman in a scheme selling bogus timber rights, promising high interest rates. In reality, though, new money was used to pay old investors.

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The scheme’s leader, Arthur Lamar Adams, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges last year and is serving a 17-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors say McHenry sold the timber rights to investors from 2008 to 2018 and helped fabricate fake timber deeds.

A separate civil suit in October charges McHenry made at least $3.5 million in commissions.