Salisbury man accused of running Ponzi scheme

Updated:

SALISBURY, N.C.,None — Federal authorities charged a Salisbury man with conning several people and organizations out of millions of dollars.

Saturday Eyewitness News found a federal indictment which said from 2004 to 2010 John Knox Bridges defrauded people out of more than $2.3 million.

The indictment said the 50-year-old convinced people to give him money for a fake oil pipeline company and retirement investments.

The indictment said, "In truth and fact, Bridges deposited the monies from these individuals into his personal Merrill Lynch account and used the money for international travel and personal living expenses."

According to the indictment, The North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer is listed as a victim in Bridges' alleged Ponzi scheme.

The indictment said he stole $600,000 from the museum in 2009 to cover up another scam. Eyewitness News tried reaching out to the museum for comment, but no one was available Saturday.

Police arrested Bridges on Thursday and he posted bond after pleading not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering.

Eyewitness News went to his house in Salisbury Saturday to see if he wanted to talk, but no one was home.

A nearby neighbor said that news about the indictment has been spreading through the community.

"It was disturbing. This is a close knit neighborhood and we like to think of ourselves as a community, so it's always shocking when you hear something like that," said Tammie Casper.

Bridges asked for a jury trial and is expected to appear in court Oct. 3.