The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Former SCV Leader Facing Prison for Massive Ponzi Scheme

By Hatewatch Staff on September 5, 2012 - 11:40 am, Posted in Extremist Crime, Neo-Confederate

A South Carolina extremist who helped engineer an attempt to turn the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) into an actively neo-Confederate organization is now facing prison for his role in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded hundreds of people.

Ron G. Wilson remains free on bond after pleading guilty on July 30 to two counts of mail fraud. Wilson signed a plea agreement admitting that over an 11-year period he and his company, Atlantic Bullion & Coin, cheated at least 800 investors who collectively lost $59 million.

Wilson acknowledged that he told investors, falsely, that he was buying silver with their money and that it was stored in a Delaware depository. In the plea agreement, he wrote that he used “fictitious account statements” and “used money for my personal benefit.”

Wilson could receive 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines, and three years of supervised release.

During a two-year term as commander of the SCV that began in 2002, Wilson led an extremist campaign to take over the Southern heritage group.  He worked closely with his white supremacist ally Kirk Lyons – appointing racists and anti-Semites to key posts and purging some 300 SCV members who opposed racism. Thousands of members left the organization, and its reputation suffered.

Wilson’s family farm, Live Oaks Farm in Spartanburg County, was closed at the end of July. Cassie Wilson, Wilson’s wife, and her daughter, Alison Schaum, operated the farm. Schaum formerly worked as a paralegal for Lyons, chief trial counsel of the Southern Legal Resource Center, which is known for filing lawsuits that challenge restrictions on the display of the Confederate flag.

U.S. marshals have, or could, seize over $130,000 in cash, six vehicles, coins and bars of precious metals, art and sculpture, a bank account with more than $200,000, 55 guns and 11 properties.  Beattie Ashmore, a Greenville lawyer, has been appointed as receiver for the state and federal cases against Wilson.

  • Peter Hockley

    If you are stupid enough to believe in White Superiority, you are obviously not using a full deck on which to make your decisions!

  • aadila

    There is far more to SPLC’s philosophical contribution to peace in our time than the mere recording and publishing of hate groups’ activities.

    Many on the right seek to shut down the open dialogue which occurs here. They do this either through direct assaults on the credibility of the SPLC’s findings, or by attempting to slur the supporters of SPLC in any number of ways to accomplish the same thing. The right wing is not accustomed to dialogue and does not function well within a democracy.

    Taken to extremes, by the few true intellectuals of the right, such as Condaleeza Rice, the refusal to engage in dialogue is referred to and glorified as “American exceptionalism.” For the followers of the right, there are planks aimed at defending against any challenge of ideas, a vast and organized society of reactionaries hoping to shut down dialogue.

    In the Texas Republican Platform where schools are expected to coddle students’ “fixed beliefs” and not expose them to critical thinking methodology. And although the Republicans claimed this was a typographical error after being ridiculed, for years this has been their stated policy on critical thinking in schools and was nothing new.

    In fact this decided refusal to truly listen and be open to ideas is not only a characteristic of hate groups and the right wing in general, but a symptom of a much greater disease within human society. The right wing huddles within closed mindedness, fearing change, hating the introduction of any new idea, because they know that from ideas come change.

    David Bohm, a theoretical physicist and illuminated mind, wrote extensively on the need to distinguish between concepts of reality and the complex phenomena being observed and interpreted by scientists in pursuit of the very nature of reality itself.

    As with other scientific advances, Bohm’s theories applied to human society as well. Specifically in how our thoughts create our order, or more accurately, the disorder of warfare, crime, violence, and hate. All things which are intuitively wrong about our species, yet somehow seem intractable conditions of people living together in groups.

    I encourage everyone to explore David Bohm’s commentaries on open dialogue, which he viewed as necessary to liberate the kinds of creative ideas that change the world for the better.

    Though on the left we have many faults, it is clear that our willingness — indeed, our practice of engaging others in dialogue — is a vital component of our more peaceful and progressive political philosphies.

    Thus the SPLC does far more than provide a taxonomy of hate in America. It helps to eradicate it by allowing all people to come here to exchange ideas, without censorship or meddling. All conflicts arise primordially from the mind. By dialogue we resolve them, or at least open the possibility of peace.

  • http://NA Victoria K. Dendinger

    The SPLC does good and necessary work. I wish that I could give more.

  • Sharon Setzer

    GOOD comments by posters here – and thank you, as always, SPLC, for exposing these predators – it’d be nice if there were fewer MORONS who joined these schemes due to either greed or ignorance.

  • Sharon Setzer

    GOOD comments by posters here – and thank you, as always, SPLC, for exposing these predators – it’d be nice if there were fewer MORONS who joined these schemes.

  • http://depressionmymuse.wordpress.com hunglikejesus

    I wonder if he just cheated the stupid mud people? Surely the master race couldn’t have been on his hit list. And if so that that means diversity paid off–for a little while–when he said it was “a toxic bio-hazard targeted towards white humanity”. The only thing toxic is this clown and his schemes and the love of that damnable fiat currency they hate so much.

  • CoralSea

    This reminds me of someone I worked with who was always trying to get other co-workers to invest in pyramid schemes of various types. The co-workers knew that it was a pyramid scheme, but also figured that if they went into it early enough, they would get their money and the later investors would get stiffed (which is what happened).

    Fast forward a few years and one of my former co-workers (I had moved on the company had dissolved) went into business with this guy. He ended up cheating the co-worker, and the co-worker lost her house. The pyramid schemer con artist guy ultimately went to jail. In talking to some of my former co-workers about the whole, sad mess, I mentioned that I couldn’t understand why anyone would go into business with someone who they knew had no qualms about cheating other people. To MY surprise, THEY seemed surprised — and they agreed, although the whole concept seemed like a revelation to them.

    Although the case I just described should have been very clear — they knew he was willing to con people because they’d not only seen it, they’d been involved — I can’t imagine wanting to intrust the proceeds of a lemonade stand with some racist jerk who gutted an organization to make it conform to his prejudices. Still, I suppose that if you didn’t have a problem with racism, perhaps you’d view him as a mover and a shaker. It’s sad that people lost their money, but as other commenters have already said, the guy already showed the type of weasel that he was.

    As the famous quote goes (or not — this is an adaptation): “a fool and your money are soon partners.”

  • Kiwiwriter

    You know, this guy didn’t exactly live up to the chivalric traditions of the Old South, as described by Margaret Mitchell, did he?

    Well, maybe he was going to pay off the investors the same way as the Confederates were going to…all their paper money said, “Redeemable for gold two years after the signature of a peace treaty between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America.”

    So when the diplomats sign that treaty, he’ll pay his investors off.

    Of course, swindling followers and defrauding them for personal gain is an old tradition, especially in the racist right.

    And it amuses me that they then fulminate against street crime by blacks as being hell on earth and proof of how evil blacks are…who is worse, a mugger who takes $60 from his victim’s purse or a con man who sets up a huge and organized scheme for 11 years, that defrauds 800 people out of $59 million?

    Boy, look at the superior morality and ideals of the ruling white race here. Yeah, this is exactly the kind of society that should be created. And this isn’t new…remember David Duke? He used to beg for money to fight the Jews and blacks, and take all the cash and checks his followers sent him, and studied the laws of probability on gambling riverboats in Louisiana, where he was a “whale.” He did federal time for that, too.

    $59 million this clown defrauded his backers…I wonder how they feel now?

    I wonder how many of them know Bungalow Bob? Maybe they’ll sign up for the “Thurman Munson Church,” too.

  • http://www.americanprogress.org/ ProgressNow

    When he goes to jail and loses his internet abuse access, will Rev. Jed DeValleyism just magically disappear?

    From amren hate site:

    “Diversity it a toxic biohazard targeted against White Humanity’s privilege of freedom and liberty.”

    -Rev. Jed DeValleysim, “How it ends for us,” 2009

  • Gregory

    $59 million? That is a lot of confederate money…..

  • Mitch Beales

    Sounds like some folks lay down with a dog and ended up with fleas.

  • Aron

    I’ve started asking all of these gold and silverbugs if they’d be willing to give me all of their fiat currency. I mean, if it’s worthless, surely they wouldn’t mind giving me the paper, right? Just to start a ‘money collection?’

  • Erika

    Anyone who invests money with anti-government right wingers pretty much should expect to be conned.

  • Reynardine

    A psychopath is a psychopath to all alike.