Mark Twain defined a gold mine as a hole in the ground with a liar on the top. Meet William Ison. He pleaded guilty yesterday (August 27) to wooing investors into a private placement program backed by Blue Diamond Excavation, Inc., a mining company with assets worth $86 billion.
But the mining company hadn't started operations or produced any income, said the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego.
Ison made his pitch at seminars throughout the nation. He also claimed that individuals had already committed to purchase medium-term notes worth $250 million that could be used as a backup to investor funds.
In fact, he had found no buyers.
Ison didn't stop there. He told investors that he managed a consortium of nonprofit foundations that donated more than $1 trillion annually — yes, more than $1 trillion a year — to humanitarian causes. He admitted that, too, was fictitious. He will be sentenced January 30 of next year.