Skip to comments.Ex-Mormon Bishop Charged in $20M Ponzi Scheme
Posted on 04/09/2009 12:44:56 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
AURORA, Colorado A former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allegedly operated a pyramid scheme from his suburban Denver home for about 15 years, bilking investors out of millions of dollars to collect religious art and classic cars.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Denver by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges Shawn Merriman, an unlicensed broker, collected up to $20 million from investors in several states to support a lavish lifestyle.
Merriman has not been charged with a crime but the matter remains under investigation, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman with the U.S. attorney's office.
Authorities say Merriman had several classic cars including a silver Aston Martin, 1932 and 1936 Auburns and a 1932 Ford Highboy guns, taxidermy and artwork that included Rembrandts and other Old Masters. Federal marshals Wednesday were freezing bank accounts and seizing cars, guns, artwork and a home in Aurora, two properties in Idaho, and artwork from a home in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Merriman, a former stock broker, allegedly began an investment fund in 1995 that employed an aggressive strategy, but he quickly lost $400,000. He allegedly started other funds to hide his losses and cover withdrawal requests.
A message left for Merriman at his Aurora home Wednesday was not immediately returned, and court records did not list an attorney for him.
The U.S. attorney's office, which moved to seize Merriman's assets earlier this month in an effort to preserve as much money as possible, said Merriman attracted investors through friends and business associates. Thirty-eight people or groups in Colorado, Minnesota and Utah, as well as other states invested money with Merriman.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Gotta believe a number of those guns had gold triggers.
OMG, you have just proved that all LDS Bishops are crooks. Good job. Way to go. You da man.
Obviously not a member of the Obama cabinet then.
It’s amazing that with a Church full of Prophets, this one is so subject to schemes. It brings to mind the Hoffman affair.
Was Mitt a 'former' bishop?
But this story does prove that the Stake President who appointed him DID NOT receive a "Revelation from God" before he did so.
Gee. You know I posted a similar article on March 20 -- Calif. Man Charged with $40 million Ponzi scheme - SACRAMENTOFederal prosecutors unsealed a complaint Friday charging the president of a suburban Sacramento company with running a $40 million investment scam that bilked about 150 investors, many of whom he met through his Mormon church. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2212153/posts
Anyway, I regret that my first comment re: that article wasn't a compassionate expression toward the Sacramento man's fellow Mormon victims. Especially during these tough economic times. I'm sorry. I think I was a bit hard-hearted that day. (And will LDS forgive me?)
So I'll try to get it right this time: I feel bad for these Colorado victims in this case. (And if any people know these victims, come alongside of them)
Now it doesn't mean I wasn't tempted today -- when I first pulled up this article -- to say something edgy -- like "Gee. Colorado LDS were deceived. Who'd know that could happen?" But even if that reflected a spiritual reality behind the financial reality -- I still need to monitor my tone...and check myself for compassion.
All I'm saying, Freeplancer, is I believe I'd be better rec'd among Mormons if I expressed more compassion alongside truth -- and I'd think the same might be true your way -- that instead of an initial "defense" apologetic of this incident that doesn't in any way recognize the victims involved, that each of us should not forget real victims were involved. But who am I to lecture you on this? (I plead guilty for doing the same thing)
So, I'll pray: "Lord God from Eternity. With this Holy Week upon us, please forgive me for my callousness toward scam victims. Love thru me like the mandate (Maundy Thursday) Jesus gave as a New Commandment - John 13:34 -- to love as your Son loves. Assist the financial recovery and devastated lives of those in the LDS Aurora & Sacramento wards. In Jesus Name."
That was a whole bunch of drunk speak you just wrote me. None of it made sense. Sober up and get back to me.
Gee, I guess the church is a sham then. I guess since Jim and Tammy Baker, the Swaggarts, the Warrens, the Haggards, etc have been proved to be corrupt, I guess born again Christianity is also a sham. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
Can't be true!!
No man stands between me and Christ, and the are no excuses needed for him.
YOUR church leaders claim contact with GOD before making CALLINGS FROM GOD for everything including ward janitor.
A Mormon involved in financial fraud. What a shock!
I met with a pair of LDS missionaries yesterday for an hour of conversation.
I was very impressed. Good kids. Great attitude. Convicted. Intelligent.
They are going to visit again in 2 weeks.
Bless them for putting up with my endless queries.
The road to hell is a wide one........
The road to heaven is narrow....
No more blind than Catholics, Presbys, Nazarenes, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Universalists, Baptists, Muslims, et al.
Stand for nothing, fall for anything.
Hey don’t include the Presbyterians in your mix, we don’t stand for anything anymore, we can go any direction.
But I understand..........
>>many of whom he met through his Mormon church
Seems to be a pattern.
How much do those rungs on the “Ladder” cost, anyhow?
We Methodist seem to have a case of that in some areas as well...
Oh, Golly Gee. Let me see, how many money-grubbing people are there who claim to be “ministers” in the protester faiths? Ever seen the TV scam TBN?
Right, you don’t claim them, do you?
“YOUR church leaders claim contact with GOD before making CALLINGS FROM GOD for everything including ward janitor.”
Did Christ ‘call’ Judas?
This is news.
I didn't know the ex-Mormons had bishops.
Everyone needs at least one Bishop along with a few pawns.
Now it is kind of confusing was he an ex-bishop or an ex-mormon. Or was he really an ex-mormon-bishop.
This is one more thing that shows that no one’s actions hurt or help just themselves. No one is exempt from the devil’s tangled web.
As you go through life you have spiritual ups and downs, Satan gets no enjoyment from entangling a man while he is down, in fact that is when men are least likely to be tempted. So the fact that this man used to be a bishop means he was constantly being tempted by Satan and somewhere during that time allowed his material goods to come between him and his relationship with God. The rest is history.
Thank heaven he wasn’t another religion, we would never have known if he even had a religious affiliation, much less what it was. Since say he was an Ex Mormon Bishop Republican, he must have been a Democrat.
This surprises me since I’ve always thought Mormons were pretty honest.
ALL? I hardly think so.
Sounds like YOU are the one with drunk speak.
The "queries" are indeed endless. It's Joe's fault; bottom line.
Hey, here's a lot of good questions to ask. :)
Following that logic... would also "prove" that when Jesus chose that one Apostle who sold him for 30 pieces... oh wait never mind, lets not follow your faulty logic.