Councilman charged with running Ponzi scheme

COLUMBIA (WACH/AP)--Federal prosecutors say they have arrested a 64-year-old former Anderson County councilman who they say was running a Ponzi scheme where people thought he was buying and selling silver for them.

Ronnie Wilson was charged Wednesday with one count of mail fraud.

Authorities say Wilson told customers of Atlantic Bullion & Coin that he was buying silver and they could sell later for a profit. But investigators say Wilson bought little silver and used the money invested for his own business interests.

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Prosecutors say to keep the scheme going, Wilson would alter receipts for the silver and increase the purchase price when a customer tried to cash in.

A woman answering the phone at Wilson's home refused to talk about the case or say if he had a lawyer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.