FBI picks up Knox Bridges; bond hearing Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SALISBURY — Federal agents picked up admitted Ponzi scheme operator John Knox Bridges at the Rowan County jail Monday.
Bridges awaits a bond revocation hearing Wednesday in Charlotte. The 52-year-old will likely remain in jail until a federal judge reschedules Bridges’ sentencing hearing.
Rowan County authorities captured Bridges following a brief standoff with officers at his Salisbury church Saturday night.
Bridges pleaded guilty last February to defrauding co-workers and longtime friends out of millions, including $600,000 from the North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation while he served as a member on the board.
But when Bridges’ sentencing date rolled around Friday afternoon, he never showed. A federal judge quickly issued a bench warrant for Bridges’ arrest.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted local authorities later Friday evening. A Salisbury Police dispatcher said Bridges should be considered “armed and dangerous.”
With the court absence, prosecutors are no longer restricted to the terms of the plea agreement, which said Bridges was likely to serve between 57 and 71 months.
Prosecutors now could recommend a hasher punishment. Federal guidelines for the offenses carry a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took custody of Bridges from Rowan County officers at 1:51 p.m. Monday, according to jail records.
Bridges is scheduled to appear in federal court on Wednesday for his bond revocation hearing. The hearing is set for 9 a.m.
Federal chief judge Robert J. Conrad, who issued the bench warrant Friday, will preside over the hearing.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.