Thursday, July 14, 2022

Timber! Baker Boy Pleads Guilty

Another tree fell in the Lamar Adams case.  Jon Seawright pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in U.S. District Court yesterday.  Seawright was a partner at Baker Donelson but has not been associated with the firm for a year and a half. 


The attorney waived indictment and accepted a bill of information.  The bill of information states Seawright conspired with co-defendant Brent Alexander to sell phony timber investments from 2011 to 2018 through their company, Alexander Seawright Timber Fund, LLC (ASTF).   The bill states: 

It was part of the agreement and conspiracy that JON DARRELL SEAWRIGHT and TED BRENT ALEXANDER, did knowingly and intentionally participate in a scheme and artifice to defraud investors by soliciting millions of dollars of funds under false pretenses and failing to use investors' funds as promised.  Co-conspirators SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER represented to investors that ASTF was 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. SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER promised ASTF investors a return of 10% or more over twelve or thirteen months on each unit of invested capital.

The Baker Boyz didn't inspect any properties related to the investments nor did they verify the timber deeds were indeed valid.  In short, all they cared about was cashing checks, investments be damned.  They also misled investors on their compensation for promoting the investments: 

SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER represented to their investors that SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER would only profit from each series of the investment if it performed as promised to the investors. This gave the ASTF investors the misleading impression that their interests were fully aligned with those of SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER. In fact, in addition to receiving a predetermined percentage of return on the investors' funds, SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER 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. SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER did not disclose to the ASTF investors: (a) the fact of these payments, or (b) the amount of the payments in relation to the investments made, or (c) the timing of the undisclosed payments to SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER before any repayment was made to the investors.
It was further part of the scheme and artifice to defraud that SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER lulled and persuaded investors to maintain their investments and to invest additional funds by asserting that SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER themselves had personal funds invested in ASTF units, when in fact SEAWRIGHT and ALEXANDER rarely, if ever, invested their personal funds in a full ASTF unit.

U.S. Attorney Darren Lamarca will seek criminal forfeiture of all assets gained through fraud.  U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves will sentence Seawright in November.  Seawright faces a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of $250,000 or less.  

Alexander has not pleaded guilty although he is scheduled for a status conference before Judge Reeves today. 

A federal grand jury also indicted Seawright for bankruptcy fraud.  The docket shows the case is still pending.  


Synopsis of Case

 Securities Fraud Indictments

 A federal grand jury indicted Alexander and Seawright on February 25, 2020 for securities fraud, fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The two men owned Alexander Seawright, LLC and Alexander Seawright Timber Fund (ASFT I).  The two men were promoters for Lamar Adams in his phony timber investment Ponzi scheme.  

The indictment charges the Baker Boyz "solicited over $20 million from more than 50 investors."  They allegedly told investors their timber fund loaned money to a broker to buy timber rights from landowners and sold the lumber at a higher priced.  They guaranteed a return of at least 10% even though they had no actual timber rights or contracts with timber mills. 

The case almost mirrors the Lamar Adams swindle.  The scheme took place from 2011 to 2018.  

Several transactions took place in furtherance of the fraud:

January 10, 2018: $590,000 transferred to First Commercial bank for ASFT I

January 16, 2018: $17,700 to First National Bank of Clarksdale for Alexander Seawright, LLC

February 15, 2018: $825,000 to First Commercial Bank for ASTF I

February 15, 2018: $24,600 to Southern Bancorp for Alexander Seawright

The Justice Department seeks the forfeiture of all assets gained through the fraudulent scheme.  The two men face maximum penalties of 25 years in prison and $250,000 fines.

Alexander Seawright Petroenergy Transportation , LLC

The indictment charges Seawright with using bankruptcy to perpetuate a fraud.  He allegedly obtained insurance by stating on an application on January 18, 2019 that his company did not face any pending bankruptcy proceedings.  However, the defendant had allegedly filed a bankruptcy petition just a few hours earlier.  The grand jury returned the indictment on January 26, 2021.   It was unsealed today. 


Anonymous said...

Please show them some mercy and let them share a jail cell for 10 or more years.

Anonymous said...

Yet his law license is still "active"

Anonymous said...

Butler Snow? Next to fall? Seems like they were doing the same thing.

Anonymous said...

He hasnt been a partner at BD for some time.

Anonymous said...

"...over $20 million dollars from more than 50 investors."

One count of conspiracy? Prison sentence of up to 5 years? What an absolute joke.

Anonymous said...

I doubt he will serve 6 months. White collar crime isn’t really a crime in the eyes of the court.

Anonymous said...

Watch him serve 2 years in a posh facility - you know, the place where they do arts and crafts and then go home with an ankle bracelet.

Anonymous said...

Remember Ole Miss “educated” and filled most of this Lamar Adams bunch with their egotistical, I can do no wrong attitudes. If you don’t believe me, visit the grove before a football game with your eyes and ears open.

Anonymous said...

"The worst they would ever do is they would put you for a couple of months into a white-collar, minimum-security resort! Shit, we should be so lucky! Do you know, they have conjugal visits there?" Peter Gibbons

Anonymous said...

I agree 5 years is a joke for this level of criminal activity, but if I read the post correctly, he has Judge Reeves.

I don’t think he will be light in sentencing.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:26

The EXACT same thing can be said for any tailgating venue in the country. Every school has at least a few egotistical wealthy alumni. Let me guess you went to "the school of life?" Making generalizations about an entire group of people is pretty telling.

Anonymous said...

The guy just pled guilty yesterday. He will lose his law license, as a felony conviction is an automatic disqualifier to practice law.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a person has a property right in their professional license, which therefore cannot be taken without due process of law.

You people who claim so much to love the Constitution, can't wait to completely disregard it when it's convenient for your messaging.

Anonymous said...

"...over $20 million dollars from more than 50 investors."

So more than 50 people gave these guys over $20 million . . . to make 10% on selling trees in Mississippi? After these clowns took 3% of the money?!? That is moronic. Warren Buffett, if he cared enough to pay attention, would shake his head. The fee is ridiculous. The risk/reward is ridiculous. If you want to make 10%, better to buy an S&P index and forget it instead of giving $$ to these guys, who used the Baker client list to solicit donors, pocketed 3% (or, as it turns out, all of the $). Who would do that??? Idiots. There are a lot of them out there . . . this is just another example.

Suchacutemouth said...

Off to club fed to play tennis and maybe more.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can see a copy of his mugshot instead of that sh*teating grin published by his (ex)law firm.

Anonymous said...

9:11 am
Butler Snow has already settled for just over $9 million They are out of it.

Anonymous said...


I understand your point but his pitch was that these were “guaranteed” investments. That’s why people bought into the scheme.

I think it’s hilarious that literally none of these wealthy people did any due diligence.

Anonymous said...

damn, losing your right to own guns, vote, and going to be hard to find a job in the future, all for a few hundred thousand dollars in fake commissions.

Anonymous said...


"Guaranteed" does not think what any of these people think it means, haha!

Anonymous said...

They never knew Lamar was running a scam. A scam within a scam!

Anonymous said...

I’ve spoken to a couple stake holders at baker Donaldson since this all unfolded. They stood by him right to the end. I wouldn’t use that law firm if they were free. And to think there’s still people out there who use them for timber investments.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, McHenry is bare-footin' the rapids and eating KFC on the picnic table down at D'Lo Water Park.

Anonymous said...

Umm there is a fairly lengthy published opinion about Baker Donelson and legal malpractice. The deeper question is who went to a law firm for investment advice? If they were great investors then they wouldn’t be a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to give this poor misguided yute a chance to turn his life around before it's too late.

WHy don't we see to having people like this picking up trash on the streets of Jackson in a set of neon orange or pink coveralls instead of sitting on their kriminal Ole Miss kiester in a fancy Club Fed?

Anonymous said...

@9:07, I am guessing you are not a lawyer or an investment advisor and don’t hold any advanced degrees. The claims against Seawright have nothing to do with legal malpractice. If you are able, read the plea documents.

Anonymous said...

7:28, thank you for displaying your ignorance. There are no “stakeholders” at Baker “Donaldson”. Trust me, they don’t want you as a free client. With your vast knowledge, please elaborate on their current involvement of people who still “use them for timber investments”. Please comment on matters you actually have credible knowledge about. Thanks for playing!

Anonymous said...

Baker Donaldson is trying to play defense pretty hard tonight. Doesn’t look good.

Anonymous said...

July 14 10:26 AM, you poor thing. You need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

July 14, 3:29 PM, with 5 to 10 million dollars of PPP welfare it could be a wash for Butler Snow. Easy come easy go. Next.

Anonymous said...

I’m here for the dude blaming it on hanging out in the Grove.

molonlabe28 said...

This article and most recent judicial lambasting of Baker Donelson doesn’t paint the true picture of the extent of the law firm’s greed in this case.

The greed and lack of judgment exhibited by Butler Snow , as well, was amazing.

Anonymous said...

Sealed Plea Supplement is listed on the docket posted on the receiver’s website for this criminal case. Does this mean Jon is throwing shady Brent under the bus? Why seal the plea supplement?

Anonymous said...

Thinking about this further. How can anyone think that a 10% annual return is "guaranteed" when handing money to these law firm people to supposedly locate plots of timber and sell it?? The idea is completely ridiculous.

Nothing is ever guaranteed, except arguably treasury bills )currently about 3% annual return). So for a higher-risk/return, you give these clowns money to invest in timber in Mississippi, and are "guaranteed" a 10% return? That is blooming stupid as hell. . .

Anonymous said...

All you Rankin geniuses that are smart enough to daily advise "leave jackson now" I want to know--did M'rda negotiate keeping JDS' 401k (700k) out of the restitution agreement in exchange for .....whatever the sentencing report finds?

Anonymous said...

if his picture is not a sh*t eating grin, I will invest in his timber scheme.

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