Authorities in Jefferson County, Colo., are hunting for an accused con artist gone missing after he was indicted on charges he sold shares in a nonexistent cable network to small investors.
Pam Russell, the spokesman for the district attorney’s office for Jefferson and Gilpin counties, confirmed the whereabouts of Edward L. Jones are unknown. Jones was indicted July 23 on 13 counts of securities fraud and one count of felony theft.
Beginning in 2000, Jones began contacting potential investors, claiming to represent businesses he identified as Equistar International and International Rep Group.
Jones told potential investors the two firms were developing cable-TV programming related to horses, and sold shares to about a dozen investors who each put in between $2,000 and $10,000. Before the alleged scheme fell apart, he had obtained nearly $90,000 .
Court documents show Jones convinced investors of his business acumen by telling his targets that he had experience managing a federal government facility with a $7 million annual budget. He claimed to work for that agency from 1990 to 1994, according to the indictment, but in reality, he was then serving time for bank robbery.
Investigators tracked the money to personal accounts in two Colorado banks, accounts that are now overdrawn.
If convicted, the 65-year-old suspect could face 12 years in prison for each count in the indictment.