White County business owner ran $43 million investment scheme

Staff Reports • Aug 10, 2017 at 3:50 PM

A White County business owner pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court of cheating investors out of more than $10 million.

Jeffery Gentry, owner of Gentry Brothers Tractor Supply and Gentry Auto, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

Through the scheme, Gentry convinced more than 50 people to invest about $43 million, which he promised would go to buying business supplies. Instead, he used the money to buy personal items, including property and vehicles.

Investors lost more than $10 million combined.

Gentry also used more than $365,000 of investment money to start Gentry Auto in 2016.

During the investigation, the asset forfeiture unit of the U.S attorney’s office and U.S. marshals seized Gentry’s assets, including his businesses, vehicles, farm equipment, houses and about $300,000. The items will be up for auction Aug. 26 in Sparta. Details of the auction are at txauction.com.

Gentry faces up to 20 years in prison on each count and fines when he is sentenced later this year. 

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