Earl Jones gets 11-year sen­tence for or­ches­trat­ing mas­sive fraud scheme

Cape Breton Post - - BUSINESS -

MONTREAL (CP) — Disgraced fi­nan­cial ad­viser Earl Jones re­ceived an 11-year sen­tence for or­ches­trat­ing a mas­sive fraud scheme Mon­day, and even those who once loved him were wish­ing a worse fate for him.

“He can rot in hell,” said Be­van Jones, who came to the court­house to watch his brother get sent away.

Vic­tims of the Ponzi schemer had hoped to see him slapped with the max­i­mum 14-year sen­tence and were dis­mayed by the deal reached be­tween pros­e­cu­tors and his at­tor­neys.

He will be el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for pa­role af­ter serv­ing one-sixth of his sen­tence — mean­ing he could re­quest to be re­leased from prison af­ter 22 months.

Sev­eral vic­tims won­dered how Jones, who’d mas­ter­minded a pyra­mid scheme over three decades, could pos­si­bly have been spared the max­i­mum sen­tence al­lowed by the law.

“Earl Jones preyed on us in the most in­ti­mate and ba­sic way. We trusted him, we put our trust in him,” said Ginny Nelles, who saw her fam­ily’s en­tire sav­ings wiped out by Jones.

“Earl Jones was our friend, he was our un­cle, he was some­body who was there for us. And he ended up vi­o­lat­ing me, my moth- er and ev­ery sin­gle mem­ber of our group.”

Jones, 67, sat in the pris­oner’s dock with his head buried in his hands as the judge handed down the sen­tence.

He pleaded guilty last month to run­ning a pyra­mid scheme that started in 1982 and in­cluded at least 158 vic­tims, in­clud­ing sev­eral close friends and rel­a­tives.

The judge was un­spar­ing in her re­marks Mon­day.

“Some vic­tims call him a liar, a de­mon, a par­a­site, a snake, a fi­nan­cial preda­tor and a so­cial so­ciopath, as he promised them that their money was not only to be safe with him but grow­ing,” said Que­bec court Judge He­lene Morin.

“He stole from both the rich and the poor with no con­science.”

His crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings heard that he never in­vested a penny of the money he col­lected from his for­mer clients.

The $50-mil­lion scam cost many peo­ple their en­tire life sav­ings and none of the money has been re­cov­ered.

But Morin made a point to make sure Jones un­der­stood what his vic­tims are not just suf­fer­ing fi­nan­cially: she said all have suf­fered from in­som­nia and many have seen their health rapidly de­te­ri­o­rate.

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