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Wed Oct 30, 2019, 01:18 AM

Fraudster Who Created False Documents to Facilitate $396 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to 14 Years

Fraudster Who Created False Documents to Facilitate $396 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison

Jay Ledford Created False Documents to Conceal the Largest Fraud Scheme Ever Charged in Maryland Which Defrauded Investors Across the Country; Gambled Away More Than $16 Million in Fraud Proceeds at Casinos

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett today sentenced Jay B. Ledford, age 55, of Westlake, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada to 14 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and a money-laundering transaction, arising from a $396 million investment fraud scheme that operated from 2013 through September 2018, with an additional $260 million in attempted investments at the time of Ledford’s arrest. Judge Bennett also ordered Ledford to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, which is at least $189,166,116. Judge Bennett will also enter an order of forfeiture, with the exact amount of forfeiture still to be determined. On October 10, 2019, Judge Bennett sentenced co-defendant Kevin B. Merrill, age 54, of Towson, Maryland, to 22 years in federal prison.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a pending parallel civil action in this matter.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Robert W. Manchak of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General.

“Jay Ledford created phony documents and operated a debt collection center to provide credibility to Kevin Merrill’s false claims to investors, duping them into paying millions of dollars into this Ponzi scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “The effects of this kind of fraud can be devastating and a number of victims have lost their life savings. This sentence sends a strong message that law enforcement will root out, prosecute, and send to prison criminal fraudsters like Jay Ledford and his co-conspirators.”

According to his plea agreement, Ledford was a certified public accountant in Texas, starting his own practice in Amarillo in 1996 and later expanding to Dallas. In 1999, Ledford met Kevin Merrill in Dallas, when Merrill was a salesman for a Baltimore company that sold supplies for X-ray machines for hospitals and doctors’ practices. Ledford and Merrill became friends, attending sporting events and visiting casinos together. Ledford prepared Merrill’s taxes for several years.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/fraudster-who-created-false-documents-facilitate-396-million-ponzi-scheme-sentenced-14

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Reply Fraudster Who Created False Documents to Facilitate $396 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to 14 Years (Original post)
TexasTowelie Oct 30 OP
Indykatie Oct 30 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 02:05 AM

1. It's Mind Boggling That So Many People Continue Handing Over Their Money for Fraudulent Investments

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