A former Robertson County commissioner pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to charges of bank, mail and wire fraud along with money laundering.
Edward Shannon Polen, 37, of Greenbrier, TN, admitted at a hearing that, between January 2007 and March 2011, he operated three investment Ponzi schemes in which he solicited and received approximately $16 million from more than 50 investors.
Polen said his investment schemes were fraudulent, and he never intended to invest any of the funds he received from investors.
The former commissioner admitted that beginning in January 2007 he began soliciting funds for investment in the purchase and resale of tractors and other farm equipment that had been repossessed by John Deere & Company.
Polen admitted that in January 2008 he began soliciting funds to finance the initial purchase of construction materials.
Polen promised investors that they would receive a return of their principal investment, plus a substantial profit.
Polen also admitted that in February 2009 he devised a third scheme and began soliciting investment funds to purchase construction materials and equipment.
Federal prosecutors said a significant part of the investment schemes involved providing investors with a minimum of two post-dated checks, one for the principal amount of their investment and the other for the profit that their investment was expected to produce.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 8. Polen faces a maximum sentence of 90 years in prison.
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