A Canton man was indicted for playing a role in the state’s largest Ponzi scheme involving timber that operated in an unassuming office building off Main Street in Madison. 

William B. McHenry, 71, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud in connection with the Ponzi scheme operated by Lamar Adams and his Madison Timber Properties LLC company. 

Adams was sentenced in October 2018 to nearly 20 years in prison for the scheme defrauding investors out of $100 million beginning in 2008. 

According to the federal indictment, McHenry began soliciting millions of dollars for Adams by recruiting investors. In total, McHenry is said to have secured over $18 million from over 25 investors in multiple states. 

“Those who prey upon and steal from others will soon find themselves on the wrong side of the law,” U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said. “We will continue to investigate this massive scheme wherever the evidence may take us and will vigorously pursue and bring to justice any wrongdoers who were involved.”

McHenry is alleged to have aided Adams in creating false documents for investors, including forging timber deeds.

Hurst’s office said McHenry also misled investors by making them think he was also investing in the venture while failing to disclose he received a 10 percent commission. 

As part of the scheme, investors were told they would be buying timber rights from landowners and then selling those rights to lumber mills for a profit. Investors were told they would receive 12-13 percent interest on their investments. 

McHenry had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lina R. Anderson and his trial is scheduled for April 15 in front of U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves in Jackson.