Houston-Area Man Guilty in Shipping Container Scam

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HOUSTON, Texas -- A Houston-area man faces up to 20 years in prison in a $5.5 million shipping containers scam.

Prosecutors in Houston say 49-year-old Steven Patrick Jones of Kingwood and Panama City, Panama, pleaded guilty Thursday to mail fraud. His partner, 71-year-old John Patrick Acord of Magnolia, faces similar charges and remains at large.

Investigators say the pair formed a company called Intermodal Wealth. Intermodal offered to sell the containers to investors, then lease the items for the investors. Jones promised to an annual return of 16 percent.

Prosecutors say the company had few containers, did not lease any of them and the partners instead spent most of the invested money.

Jones remains in custody pending sentencing in September.