Hearing planned for Sparta man accused of defrauding investors - WSMV News 4

Plea hearing planned for White County man accused of defrauding investors

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SPARTA, TN (WSMV) -

Federal authorities will hold a news conference Thursday to discuss details of a fraud case in White County.

Jeffery Gentry was charged with wire fraud and money laundering last month for allegedly losing more than $10 million of his investors' money.

Gentry, 40, owned and operated Gentry Brothers Tractor Supply and Gentry Auto in Sparta, TN.

According to federal prosecutors, Gentry would promise high rates of return on investments, which he claimed was used to buy farm-related equipment. Instead, he was allegedly using the money to support his lifestyle, buying real estate and cars.

Gentry is accused of lying to investors, some of which included friends and family members, that he was winning contracts from several states, including Tennessee.

According to investigators, Gentry was able to raise $43 million from more than 50 investors.

He also reportedly took more than $365,000 in investor funds from the tractor supply business and used it to open a used car lot.

If convicted, Gentry faces up to 20 years in prison on each count, in addition to monetary fines.

A plea hearing in the case is scheduled at the Federal Courthouse Annex in Nashville at 1 p.m.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith will be holding a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday. The FBI and the IRS will also be in attendance.

Representatives from the U.S. Marshals’ Service will discuss how they plan to liquidate the assets netted during the alleged criminal activity.

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