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Jackson lobbyist pleads guilty to conspiracy to defraud investors in timber deed investment scheme



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Jackson lobbyist Ted Brent Alexander pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to defraud investors in a timber deed investment scheme, which was announced by United States Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Jackson Field Office. Alexander, who is 57 years old and from Jackson, Mississippi, pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon before United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves to a Criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Alexander admitted that he and a co-conspirator participated in a scheme to defraud investors between 2011 and 2018. They solicited millions of dollars under false pretenses and failed to use investor funds as promised. Alexander and his co-conspirator represented to investors that they were in the business of loaning funds to a “timber broker” to buy timber rights from landowners and then to sell the timber rights to lumber mills at a higher price. They promised investors a return of 10% or more over twelve or thirteen months on each unit of invested capital. Alexander and his co-conspirator represented to their investors that they were inspecting each tract of land and vetting each document, deed, and contract in support of their investments. These promises and representations were material in that they were intended to cause investors to believe that their investments were secured by valid assets and to believe that the financial incentives and interests of Alexander and his co-conspirator aligned with those of the investors. In fact, Alexander and his co-conspirator failed to inspect each property related to the timber rights underlying each investment, and they failed to verify each executed lumber mill agreement related to each investment. Alexander and his co-conspirator made few or no such inquiries. If they had made such inquiries, they would have discovered that the timber deeds, lumber mill agreements, and related documents had been falsified and were not valid.

Alexander and his co-conspirator also represented to their investors that they would only profit from each series of the investment if it performed as promised to the investors. This gave the investors the misleading impression that their interests were fully aligned with those of Alexander and his co-conspirator. In fact, in addition to receiving a predetermined percentage of return on the investors’ funds, Alexander and his co-conspirator also received undisclosed payments of approximately 3% for recruiting investments to the timber investment scheme immediately upon transferring the investment funds to the purported timber broker. Alexander and his co-conspirator did not disclose to the investors: (a) the fact of these payments, (b) the amount of the payments in relation to the investments made, or (c) the timing of the undisclosed payments to Alexander and his co-conspirator before any repayment was made to the investors.

Alexander will be sentenced on August 21, 2023, before Judge Reeves. He faces a maximum sentence of up to five years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Restitution is mandatory under federal law.

This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Dave Fulcher.

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