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Last month, Amanda Merrill of Towson, Maryland, the wife of Ponzi scheme conspirator Kevin Merrill, was sentenced to house arrest and six weekends in jail for federal charges related to hiding assets. Ms. Merrill’s husband, Kevin Merrill, is currently serving 22 years in prison for operating a multi million dollar Ponzi scheme.
Kevin Merrill and two other men, Jay B. Ledford and Cameron Jezierski, raised money from investors by promising high returns on the purchase and resale of consumer debt portfolios. From 2013 to 2018, the three men fabricated documents, tax returns, and financial documents and fraudulently used investor funds to pay earlier investors and to pay for their own lavish lifestyles.
In 2018, Kevin Merrill was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, identity theft, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering, in connection with the $394 million Ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also brought a civil enforcement action against Merrill, Ledford, and Jezierski and their businesses, Global Credit Recovery, LLC, Delmarva Capital, LLC, Rhino Capital Holdings, LLC, Rhino Capital Group, LLC, DeVille Asset Management LTD, and Riverwalk Financial Corporation. The SEC also obtained an asset freeze, temporary restraining order, and the appointment of a receiver.
Kevin Merrill’s cars and homes in Towson, Maryland and Naples were forfeited. The rest of their assets were frozen, and a temporary receiver was appointed to collect assets. Court orders directed Amanda Merrill to turn any assets over to the receiver. In violation of the court orders and the instructions given to her by the FBI, Amanda Merrill removed assets and cash from the couple’s home in Naples, Florida. After the trip, Amanda Merrill falsely informed federal agents that the safe in the Naples home was unlocked and empty.
During a recorded jailhouse call with his wife, Kevin Merrill provided instructions on how to open the safe using coded language. According to the Baltimore Sun, jail officials also confiscated a note in Kevin Merrill’s shoe instructing Amanda Merrill to hide cash, give his golf clubs to her father, and to “drink good wine in sub zero’s, replace with sh– wine in basement.” Amanda Merrill plead guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice in October 2019.
Last month in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Mrs. Merrill was sentenced to six consecutive weekends in the Howard County jail and six months of house arrest. U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett stated that he wanted to send a message in issuing the sentence, which exceeded the prosecutors’ probation recommendations.
If you believe that you have been misled by a financial advisor or wish to engage the services of a securities lawyer, please call the Costello Law Group at 410-832-800 (or Toll Free 877-418-0003) for a free consultation. Tom Costello of the Costello Law Group has 25 years of experience in stockbroker misconduct and investment fraud.