A supercar is a go-to purchase when you run into some extra, possibly illegal cash, which is what federal prosecutors say a now-indicted Maryland man did with the millions he earned from an alleged Ponzi scheme. But he didn’t stop at just one, prosecutors say, collecting around two dozen luxury cars, including four Lamborghinis, four Ferraris and a Bugatti Veyron.
A federal grand jury in Baltimore last week indicted Kevin B. Merrill on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, identify theft and money laundering. The feds say Merrill and two others duped people into giving them money while pretending to invest it in consumer debt portfolios, batches of defaulted consumer loans that the alleged conspirators said they could make money on.
Instead, prosecutors say, they spent the money on lavish lifestyles for themselves, according to a release from the United States Attorney’s Office in Maryland. Prosecutors say the scheme brought in over $364 million, a lot of which was spent on property, cars, a boat and precious jewelry.
And for Merrill, not ordinary cars, but a host of supercars, according to prosecutors. He will forfeit the cars to the government if convicted. Here’s the list, according to the indictment:
- 2014 Ford Explorer
- 2014 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
- 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63
- 2015 BMW S1000R
- 2015 Harley-Davidson VRSCDX
- 2016 Ferrari 488
- 2017 Audi R8 5.2 Plus
- 2017 Lamborghini Huracán convertible
- 2017 Range Rover
- 2017 Range Rover Sport
- 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S
- 2018 Rolls-Royce Dawn
- 2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith
- 2018 McLaren 720S
- 2008 Bugatti Veyron
- 2013 Ferrari California
- 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe
- 2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
- 2014 Pagani Huayra
- 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63
- 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63
- 2017 Cadillac Escalade
- 2017 Lamborghini Aventador
- 2018 Ferrari 488 Spider
- 2018 Lamborghini Huracán
The government is also seeking forfeiture of a 2016 Ferrari 488, a 2016 Tesla Model S and a 2015 Bentley Flying Spur from Jay B. Ledford, an alleged co-conspirator of Merrill’s. A third alleged co-conspirator, Cameron R. Jezierski, was also indicted.
If convicted, the three also face prison:
Merrill, Ledford, and Jezierski each face a maximum of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud conspiracy and for each of five counts of wire fraud. Merrill and Ledford each also face 20 years in prison for an additional two counts of wire fraud, as well as 20 years in prison for a money laundering conspiracy, and for each of four counts of money laundering. Finally, Merrill and Ledford face a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for identity theft. The defendants also face possible fines of $250,000, or twice the gross gain, for the wire fraud conspiracy and for each count of wire fraud and money laundering. Merrill and Ledford face an additional fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the property, for the money laundering conspiracy.
The SEC has filed a parallel civil complaint in this matter.
The alleged victims included small business owners, restaurateurs, construction contractors, retirees, doctors, lawyers, accountants, bankers, talent agents, professional athletes, and financial advisers in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Las Vegas, Texas and other places. Those who believe they have been a victim of this scheme are encouraged to email MerrillLedford@fbi.gov.
The whole case is batshit. You can read the full indictment here.
(h/t to Joe!)