NASHVILLE — A White County, Tenn., man with a tractor supply business in Sparta, Tenn., has been charged with a $43 million investment scheme that bilked investors out of $10 million, according to a story posted on

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Middle Tennessee, 40-year-old Jeffery Lynn Gentry of White County owned and operated Gentry Brothers Tractor Supply and Gentry Auto in Sparta.

Investigators say from 2012 through December 2016, Gentry told investors he was winning state contracts in Tennessee and other states to provide farm equipment such as tractors and mowers to the states.

Gentry convinced 50 people — which included friends and family — to invest a total of $43 million in his tractor supply company and promised big returns.

Instead, investigators say investors lost $10 million and Gentry used the money to buy real estate, vehicles and open a used car lot called Gentry Auto.

Gentry was charged on July 5, 2017 for wire fraud and money laundering. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He also faces a monetary judgement of at least $10 million.