A Tennessee man who pled guilty last August in a $43 million tractor supply investment scheme has received a three-year prison sentence and must pay $10 million in restitution to the victims.
According to the Tennessean, Jeffrey Lynn Gentry, 40, was sentenced to 36 months behind bars, followed by three years of supervised release. His family and friends were among the victims to fall for his promise of a 6 to 10 percent return on their investment.
Gentry, who owned and operated Gentry Brothers Tractor Supply and Gentry Auto in Sparta, told investors from 2012 to December 2016 he was winning state contracts in Tennessee and other states to provide farm equipment such as tractors and mowers. Fifty people fell victim and with the $43 million, Gentry used the money to buy real estate, vehicles, and open a used car lot called Gentry Auto.
Last January, Gentry’s brother Donald, filed a civil lawsuit against him for running a Ponzi-type scheme, using the money from new investors to pay dividends to old investors. In January 2012, the brothers dissolved Gentry Bros. Tractor Supply LLC and Jeffery was to take on all responsibility for debts. In the suit, Donald said that wasn’t the case and at least one creditor has gone to Donald for payment.
In August, the U.S. Marshals Service held a live auction to sell tractors, trucks, trailers, farm equipment, and tools in the liquidation of assets seized from Gentry. More than $1 million was raised from the seized assets in an effort to recoup losses incurred by the victims of the scheme.