The founder of Compass Academy in Aiken has been arrested and charged with securities fraud, according to the S.C. Attorney General's Office.


Jonathan "Jay" Warren Brooks, 40, was charged with one count of securities fraud and placed in the Aiken County detention center. At a hearing this afternoon, Brooks' bond was set at $500,000. He remained in the detention center this afternoon.


An arrest warrant alleges that Brooks took investment money for an entity called the "Charles Howell Trust," but the entity was fictional. Brooks instead converted the funds for his person use, according to Mark Powell, a spokesman for the Attorney General's office.


The felony charge of securities fraud carries a possible punishment of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000.


The case will be prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General Creighton Waters and Assistant Attorney General Brian Petrano.


Brooks, his wife and his companies, J. Brooks Financial and Brooks Real Estate Holdings, have previously been accused by the Attorney General's office of illegally selling unregistered securities to fund the establishment of a private school, Compass Academy, on Toolebeck Road.


They have also been accused by the Securities Division of the Attorney General's office of using those funds to buy groceries, their home, vacations and jewelry, rather than investing them.