WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Jim Burton made a lot of money off of his mafia schemes attracting a lot of attention, but attention in the mafia world is not a good thing.
While Burton was participating in that foreign currency exchange scheme in Las Vegas, a stockbroker friend convinced him to extend the deal to Columbia. Burton wired the money then traveled to Columbia for a meeting.
“Just then I had 12 US Marshals jump out of the ceiling tiles and jump on me,” he said. “And they took me to a prison that was 17 stories underground in Columbia. I thought I was a tough guy until I was put there, I was thinking there was no way I could get out of this place.”
It did not go well.
“It cost me $12 million to get out of jail in Colombia, which was not fun,” said Burton.
He used his contacts with a few New York attorneys who negotiated the $12 million deal to gain his release.
That was not his only brush with the law for his money schemes.
“Somehow I ended up in Tennessee, and I went to jail in Tennessee because this person had owed me money and made up a bunch of lies about me,” said Burton. “They brought in an FBI informant and they made up this big story about me, so I did two years in jail that was condemned.”
Both stints behind bars gave Burton time to reflect on the life he had been living.
“I was 15 when I ran away from home,” he recalled. “I was attending Catholic school at the time. I was abused by the Franciscan brothers.”
He thought back to his mental escape through his wild career in the mob, the farm in his hometown.
“My farm was a beautiful place, as it would be a beautiful place for kids to be raised,” said Burton. “And what I am trying to do is use that money to buy it for a home for all of these sexually abused kids.”
Currently, he has a lawsuit against those who wronged him. He has also written a book all about his life in the fast lane.
“Through this book, I’ve had many offers for movie rights because I believe that my story is better than Good Fellas any day,” Burton said with a smile.
He said currently he is waiting to get an agent.
“So I’ve had MGM, Time Warner,” said Burton referring to offers he’s gotten from big movie-making companies.
Burton said leading this kind of life the things he said he can’t make up.
“Some people think it’s unbelievable but I’ve got the proof to prove it all,” Burton said.
And over his lifetime is how Jim Burton became a wise guy.
He decided on moving to the Panhandle after helping a friend locate here. He fell in love with the area himself and decided to move.
In fact, he wished he had moved here sooner, it might have kept him out of trouble.