BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — Federal officials announced Wednesday the indictment and arrests of three people, including a Maryland man, involved in one of the largest ponzi schemes ever charged in the DC region.
A federal indictment states that from January 2013 to the present day, Kevin B. Merrill of Towson, along with Jay B. Ledford, and Cameron R. Jezierski willingly devised a scheme to defraud investors of more than $364 million through false pretenses.
The men are charged with wire fraud, identity theft, money laundering, conspiracy, and financial transactions over $10,000 in criminally derived property. Victims of the fraud include individual investors and companies in Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia.
The charges allege that Merrill, Ledford, and Jezierski would persuade investors to use interstate wire transfers to send money to bank accounts under their control for the original purpose of investing in consumer debt portfolios and to offer potential investors to invest with them.
Merrill owned five houses, 25 cars — including two Rolls Royces — a boat and more, according to court records.
Instead, the money was used to fund the continuing ponzi scheme and to pay for personal expenses.
Their assets, such as real estate, cars, and lavish jewelry, will be turned over to the U.S. government if Merrill, Ledford, and Jezierki are convicted.