An offer to to earn money leasing trucks from a Mount Pleasant business owner at first seemed like a good deal, but it turned sour when he began faking expenses, according to the FBI.
Cameron J. Banks was arrested and is being held in connection to a federal criminal complaint of fraud and swindling. He appeared in court Friday.
An attorney for the government said the alleged mail fraud could carry a 20-year prison sentence.
According to an affidavit from an FBI agent, Banks leased trucks to customers, along with a driver and insurance, and promised them a majority of the profits.
An early victim had a radio show in Florida and was endorsing the venture on the air.
"Soon, customers began coming forward, wanting to do business with Banks and the company," according to to the complaint.
Investors became suspicious in August when they received "far less" than the amounts they were promised.
To explain the difference, Banks used the mail system in September to send them "fictitious documents that listed false expenses associated with the operation of the trucks," according to the FBI, who alleged the missing profits were spent on cars, jewelry, travel and rent.
The amount in dispute wasn't clear. One customer gave Banks $18,000, and in exchange, expected to receive up to $1,500 per week in profits.
The trucking company, AmeriTrans Logistics and Express of Moncks Corner, was incorporated in 2017.
Banks was arrested Thursday, according to court documents. His family and an attorney representing him declined to comment Friday.
Banks, who uses three different names — the others are Reggie Stagger and Roy Hamilton — also is at the center of a separate federal case. He was indicted in 2017 after he allegedly used his job at a South Carolina dentistry practice to defraud a lender. He has pleaded not guilty.
After the truck-licensing complaint came to light, a probation officer petitioned the court to revoke Banks' bond in the previous case. He is scheduled to appear in court again Thursday.