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Ronnie Wilson, a former Anderson County councilman facing new charges in connection with what authorities allege was an Upstate Ponzi scheme, was arraigned Thursday in federal court in Greenville.

Wilson's wife and brother, indicted by a federal grand jury as the probe expanded, also were arraigned on federal charges.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles of South Carolina said Cassandra K. Wilson, 66, of Woodruff, and Timothy L. Wilson, 60, of Martin, Tenn., were indicted on allegations of conspiring to obstruct justice and hide assets from authorities investigating Atlantic Bullion & Coin in Easley.

Ronnie Wilson, who was Atlantic Bullion's president, is serving a 19-year prison sentence for mail fraud. He remains in federal custody.

Cassandra Wilson is his wife and Timothy Wilson is his brother, authorities said.

At their arraignment, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin set a $25,000 unsecured bond and travel restrictions for each of the Wilsons. They left the courthouse with their attorneys and had no comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Watkins said in court the government didn't oppose bond for the Wilsons while they await trial.

Noticeably thinner since his arrest, Ronnie Wilson wore a faded orange jumpsuit with the lettering "county jail" on the back as he entered the U.S. District courtroom downtown.

The new indictment charges Wilson with conspiring to obstruct justice and hide assets and making false statements to federal agents, according to prosecutors and court records.

Prosecutors said 798 investors in Wilson's company lost $57.4 million in one of the largest alleged schemes of its kind in South Carolina history.

Nettles said the maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The maximum penalty Ronnie Wilson could face for the false statement charge upon a conviction is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, Nettles said.

The case was investigated by U.S. Secret Service agents and assigned to Watkins in Greenville.

Watkins told reporters at a recent news conference in Greenville that assets that should have been turned over to a court-appointed receiver were hidden in ammunition canisters "full of cash, secreted from the receiver's office."

Gold and silver coins also were hidden from the receiver, Watkins said.

The alleged scheme entrapped surgeons, retired textile workers, teachers and lawyers, Watkins said.

Some investors lost tens of thousands of dollars while others lost "well over" $1 million, Watkins said. A number emptied their individual retirement accounts, losing several hundred thousand dollars "that they had worked their whole lives to accumulate," he said.

In April 2006, Atlantic Bullion & Coin statements showed two clients made a profit because of silver trades Wilson is alleged to have made, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Wilson never made real trades for any of his clients and, in fact, operated a Ponzi scheme.

Nettles said that since the original charges were brought against Wilson and Atlantic Bullion in 2012, three other individuals have been convicted of charges related to the alleged Ponzi scheme and the hiding of assets.

Ronnie Wilson, a former Anderson County councilman facing new charges in connection with what authorities allege was an Upstate Ponzi scheme, was arraigned Thursday in federal court in Greenville.

Wilson's wife and brother, indicted by a federal grand jury as the probe expanded, also were arraigned on federal charges.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles of South Carolina said Cassandra K. Wilson, 66, of Woodruff, and Timothy L. Wilson, 60, of Martin, Tenn., were indicted on allegations of conspiring to obstruct justice and hide assets from authorities investigating Atlantic Bullion & Coin in Easley.

Ronnie Wilson, who was Atlantic Bullion's president, is serving a 19-year prison sentence for mail fraud. He remains in federal custody.

Cassandra Wilson is his wife and Timothy Wilson is his brother, authorities said.

At their arraignment, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin set a $25,000 unsecured bond and travel restrictions for each of the Wilsons. They left the courthouse with their attorneys and had no comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Watkins said in court the government didn't oppose bond for the Wilsons while they await trial.

Noticeably thinner since his arrest, Ronnie Wilson wore a faded orange jumpsuit with the lettering "county jail" on the back as he entered the U.S. District courtroom downtown.

The new indictment charges Wilson with conspiring to obstruct justice and hide assets and making false statements to federal agents, according to prosecutors and court records.

Prosecutors said 798 investors in Wilson's company lost $57.4 million in one of the largest alleged schemes of its kind in South Carolina history.

Nettles said the maximum penalty for the conspiracy charge is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The maximum penalty Ronnie Wilson could face for the false statement charge upon a conviction is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, Nettles said.

The case was investigated by U.S. Secret Service agents and assigned to Watkins in Greenville.

Watkins told reporters at a recent news conference in Greenville that assets that should have been turned over to a court-appointed receiver were hidden in ammunition canisters "full of cash, secreted from the receiver's office."

Gold and silver coins also were hidden from the receiver, Watkins said.

The alleged scheme entrapped surgeons, retired textile workers, teachers and lawyers, Watkins said.

Some investors lost tens of thousands of dollars while others lost "well over" $1 million, Watkins said. A number emptied their individual retirement accounts, losing several hundred thousand dollars "that they had worked their whole lives to accumulate," he said.

In April 2006, Atlantic Bullion & Coin statements showed two clients made a profit because of silver trades Wilson is alleged to have made, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Wilson never made real trades for any of his clients and, in fact, operated a Ponzi scheme.

Nettles said that since the original charges were brought against Wilson and Atlantic Bullion in 2012, three other individuals have been convicted of charges related to the alleged Ponzi scheme and the hiding of assets.

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