GREENVILLE A man accused of masterminding a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to 19 years in federal prison.

Ronnie Gene Wilson was also ordered Tuesday to pay more than $57 million in restitution and serve three years probation after hes released.

Wilson pleaded guilty to mail fraud in July. Prosecutors said the former Anderson County council member and another man promised to buy and sell silver for customers but invested little of the $90 million they took in, either losing it or keeping it for themselves.

The second man, Wallace Lindsey Howell, also is charged with mail fraud. That case is still pending.

In court Tuesday, Wilson said his theft got so bad he even stole from his own relatives.