Feds allege $364 million Ponzi scheme paid for dozens of supercars

Federal prosecutors in Baltimore have issued a 14-count indictment in opposition to three males accused of utilizing a Ponzi scheme to defraud buyers of greater than $364 million, saying that two of them diverted the cash partially to amass a jaw-dropping portfolio of 28 principally luxurious cars, supercars and bikes, together with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces — and one Ford Explorer.

The indictment, unsealed Tuesday however filed Sept. 11, identifies three defendants: Kevin B. Merrill, 53, of Towson, Md.; Jay B. Ledford, 54, of Westlake, Texas and Las Vegas; and Cameron R. Jezierski, 28, of Fort Price, Texas. Along with the automobiles and bikes, it accuses them of diverting and concealing $73 million of buyers’ cash supposed for shopper debt portfolios to buy and renovate high-end houses in a number of states, jewellery, boats, a life-insurance coverage and a share in a jet aircraft.

Prosecutors are in search of forfeiture of the next automobiles and bikes from Merrill:

  1. 2014 Ford Explorer
  2. 2014 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
  3. 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63
  4. 2015 BMW S1000R bike
  5. 2015 Harley Davidson VRSCDX Evening Rod Particular Version bike
  6. 2016 Ferrari 488 coupe
  7. 2017 Audi R8 5.2 Plus coupe
  8. 2017 Lamborghini Huracan convertible
  9. 2017 Vary Rover
  10. 2017 Vary Rover Sport
  11. 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S
  12. 2017 Rolls-Royce Daybreak convertible
  13. 2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe
  14. 2018 McLaren 720S coupe
  15. 2008 Bugatti Veyron
  16. 2013 Ferrari California convertible
  17. 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe
  18. 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
  19. 2014 Pagani Huayra
  20. A pair of 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63s
  21. 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  22. 2017 Lamborghini Aventador
  23. 2018 Ferrari 488 Spyder
  24. 2018 Lamborghini Huaracan

Prosecutors additionally search to recuperate the next automobiles from Ledford:

  1. 2016 Ferrari 488
  2. 2016 Tesla Mannequin S
  3. 2015 Bentley Flying Spur

Prosecutors say that beginning in early 2013, Merrill and Ledford persuaded buyers to hitch them in buying “shopper debt portfolios,” that are made up of defaulted shopper money owed to banks, bank card issuers, scholar mortgage lenders and different entities, offered in batches to 3rd events that attempt to accumulate on the debt — so sure, this already sounds tremendous shady. The defendants allegedly falsely claimed they’d use buyers’ cash to spend money on the portfolios and become profitable for them by amassing on funds folks made on their debt or promoting the portfolios for a revenue to third-party debt patrons.

As an alternative, the federal government says, the defendants falsely represented who they have been shopping for the debt portfolios from and the way a lot they have been paying for the portfolios, whether or not they have been investing their very own funds and their observe report of success. Prosecutors say that at occasions, there wasn’t any underlying debt portfolio bought with buyers’ cash and that the defendants “created imposter firms with names much like precise shopper debt sellers or brokers and opened financial institution accounts within the names of these imposter firms.” Additionally they allegedly created false portfolio overviews, gross sales agreements with names and solid signatures of precise workers of the portfolio sellers and different falsified data.

In response to a associated civil grievance from the SEC, victimized buyers embody small enterprise house owners, restauranteurs, building contractors, retirees, medical doctors, legal professionals, accountants, bankers, expertise brokers, skilled athletes and monetary advisors in Maryland, Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, Las Vegas, Texas and elsewhere. There are believed to be greater than 400 victims throughout the nation. “Most of those buyers are simply studying that they’ve been victimized,” U.S. Legal professional Robert Ok. Hur mentioned in an announcement.

Anybody who believes they could have been defrauded is urged to contact the FBI at [email protected]. You’ll be able to learn the full indictment right here.

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