ROME, GA—A jury in federal district court late this afternoon returned a guilty verdict against JEFFREY WALLACE EDWARDS, 46, of Bremen, Georgia, and his corporation, “Frontier Holdings, Inc.,” on charges of mail and wire fraud and money laundering.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Financial and investment fraud claims victims from all parts of our community. In this case, the jury found that a man from a small town in west Georgia successfully persuaded investors from around the country that with his supposed contacts with a former vice president and a Federal Reserve chairman, he could make their money multiply into millions. He persuaded retired teachers and dental hygienists to give them the equity in their homes and retirement plans. Then he spent the victims’ hard-earned money on lavish vacation cruises, real estate, fur coats, tiki carvings, and luxury cars. With the jury’s verdict, EDWARDS is now facing a substantial term in federal prison.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and the evidence presented at trial: The jury found EDWARDS and Frontier Holdings guilty on two counts of mail fraud, 17 counts of wire fraud, and 11 counts of money laundering. EDWARDS and his corporation were originally indicted on May 6, 2009; a superseding indictment was returned on February 15, 2011. The evidence at trial showed that between February 2006 and February 2007, EDWARDS promised investors they would receive returns of between 41 and 1066 percent on the money they placed in the “high yield” investment programs that he had with the Federal Reserve Bank.
The evidence showed that EDWARDS also claimed to own a bank, to have access to lucrative but confidential investment opportunities, or to be a “special agent” of the Federal Reserve. Thirty-one victims mailed or electronically transferred over $7 million to EDWARDS. He spent the money quickly, and when the victims started demanding payment, he blamed “the banking industry” and “the powers that be” for delaying payment from his phantom investments.
The mail and wire fraud charges each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 per count, and the money laundering charges each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 per count. Sentencing will be December 1, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. before Senior United States District Judge Robert L. Vining. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.