Investment Scammer Indicted

A Rocky Mount, N.C., businessman who was previously forced to stop selling investments for Charlotte-based concert promoter B.A.B. Productions was indicted September 12th for allegedly investing $8 million of his clients’ money in an illegal scheme.

Joe Jones is accused of executing a Ponzi scheme – a type of pyramid scheme in which money from new investors is used to pay off earlier investors until the system collapses – according to the Rocky Mount Telegram.

State officials said there could be up to 500 victims.

The Nash County Grand Jury reportedly handed down 100 indictments against Jones and 21 indictments against Charles Harrison of Charlotte.

An $800,000 bond has been set for each.

Officials with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office began investigating Jones in 2004 when they learned he was selling unregistered investments, the Telegram said. He lost his license to sell investments in January 2003.

Investigators raided Jones’ former office and confiscated $1,500 worth of cocaine and marijuana. He was also ordered to stop selling investments for B.A.B. Productions.

Jones admitted to selling investments for the promoter but pointed the finger at B.A.B. president Bernard Bailey, saying he should have known the investments were unregistered.

In August, Jones was sentenced to 30 months probation for drug violations after pleading guilty to felony possession of cocaine. That was in addition to a six- to eight-month suspended prison sentence.

A statement from the District Attorney’s Office in Nash County said it is unsure if the money will ever be recovered.

Jones has reportedly promised investors that they will recoup any losses. So far, however, none of them has received a penny.

Jones’ court date was unknown at press time.