Prosecutors: 3 charged in $364 million Ponzi scheme

BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Maryland say three men are facing charges in a $364 million investment scheme that entrapped more than 400 victims nationwide.

U.S. Attorney Robert Hur announced at a news conference Wednesday that 53-year-old Kevin Merrill of Towson, 54-year-old Jay Ledford of Westlake, Texas, and Las Vegas, and 28-year-old Cameron Jezierski of Fort Worth, Texas, have been arrested and charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering.

The indictment alleges that Merrill and Ledford invited people to buy consumer debt portfolios and falsely represented that they’d profit from debt payments and flipping portfolios. Prosecutors say “proceeds” paid out came from other investors, not collections or sales, as represented. They say the trio concealed their diversion of $73 million and bought homes, automobiles, jewelry and gambled $25 million.

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