Last week in U.S. District Court, a federal jury found Jeffrey Wallace "J.W." Edwards, of Bremen, Georgia, guilty of fraud. Over two years ago, Wallace, former CEO of Frontier Holdings Inc., was indicted and arrested on charges related to an alleged multi-million investment scheme.
Prosecutors accused Wallace of stealing $7.4 million from at least 31 investors from early 2006 to early 2007. Wallace was also accused of making fraudulent promises to investors, including that they would receive rates of return between 40 and 150 percent by investing in his "high yield" investment programs. According to court documents, Wallace also told investors that he owned a bank, that he had access to confidential investment opportunities, and that he was "a special agent" with the U.S. Federal Reserve.
"A man who lives in a small town in west Georgia allegedly persuaded investors from around the country that with his secret government contacts and other plans, he could make their money multiply into millions," said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias shortly after Wallace's arrest.
Prosecutors further alleged that Wallace never invested any of the investor funds, but instead used the money to pay for family vacations and to buy real estate, vehicles, jewelry, fur coats, and art.
Wallace was convicted of two counts of mail fraud, 17 counts of wire fraud, and 11 counts of money laundering. His sentencing date is set for Dec. 1. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of fraud, and up to 10 years in prison for each count of money laundering.