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Ex-Mormon Bishop Charged in $20M Ponzi Scheme
Fox News ^ | April 08, 2009

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 ...


TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS: fraud; lds; mormon; ponzi
Merriman told the Deseret News in March 2008 that he had collected 56 of Rembrandt's 70 religious prints, some which were on display throughout The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints buildings in Denver last year. LDS spokeswoman Kim Farah said Merriman has served as a bishop in the church, but she did not say when or for how long. Bishops lead neighborhood congregations, similar to pastors in other faiths, LDS spokesman Marc Stevens said.

Rembrandt's "Biblical Etchings" Exhibit at LDS.org

1 posted on 04/09/2009 12:44:56 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
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.

Gotta believe a number of those guns had gold triggers.

2 posted on 04/09/2009 12:48:08 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (FreepMail me if you want on the Bourbon ping list!)
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To: Alex Murphy

OMG, you have just proved that all LDS Bishops are crooks. Good job. Way to go. You da man.


3 posted on 04/09/2009 1:07:13 PM PDT by freeplancer
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To: Alex Murphy
Ex-Mormon Bishop Charged in $20M Ponzi Scheme

Charged?

Obviously not a member of the Obama cabinet then.

4 posted on 04/09/2009 1:08:01 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, Question everyone else)
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To: Alex Murphy

It’s amazing that with a Church full of Prophets, this one is so subject to schemes. It brings to mind the Hoffman affair.


5 posted on 04/09/2009 2:21:46 PM PDT by colorcountry (A faith without truth is not true faith.)
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To: freeplancer
OMG, you have just proved that all LDS Bishops are crooks.

Was Mitt a 'former' bishop?

6 posted on 04/09/2009 2:28:26 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: freeplancer
"OMG, you have just proved that all LDS Bishops are crooks. Good job. Way to go. You da man."

Maybe not...

But this story does prove that the Stake President who appointed him DID NOT receive a "Revelation from God" before he did so.

7 posted on 04/09/2009 2:33:51 PM PDT by SENTINEL (SGT USMC GWI)
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To: freeplancer; Alex Murphy
OMG, you have just proved that all LDS Bishops are crooks. Good job. Way to go. You da man.

Gee. You know I posted a similar article on March 20 -- Calif. Man Charged with $40 million Ponzi scheme - SACRAMENTO—Federal 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."

8 posted on 04/09/2009 2:58:46 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

That was a whole bunch of drunk speak you just wrote me. None of it made sense. Sober up and get back to me.


9 posted on 04/09/2009 3:14:43 PM PDT by freeplancer
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To: SENTINEL

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.


10 posted on 04/09/2009 3:20:16 PM PDT by freeplancer
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To: Alex Murphy
LIES!!

Can't be true!!

/s

11 posted on 04/09/2009 3:21:59 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: freeplancer
Nope, there is where you make your mistake.

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.

12 posted on 04/09/2009 3:26:12 PM PDT by SENTINEL (SGT USMC GWI)
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To: freeplancer; Old Mountain man
Now don't be a talking like OMM here....

ROFLOL!!

13 posted on 04/09/2009 3:26:31 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: SENTINEL

Amen...brother


14 posted on 04/09/2009 3:27:22 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: Alex Murphy

A Mormon involved in financial fraud. What a shock!


15 posted on 04/09/2009 3:32:38 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: Osage Orange

LOL...

Indeed...


16 posted on 04/09/2009 3:34:14 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Stupidity has an expiration date 1-20-2013 *(Thanks Nana))
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To: Alex Murphy

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.


17 posted on 04/09/2009 3:35:31 PM PDT by Glenn (Free Venezuela!)
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To: Alex Murphy

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Reslly ????????:


18 posted on 04/09/2009 3:39:09 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: Glenn
Few folks that I know are saying they aren't good people....

They are.

Just blinded.........

The road to hell is a wide one........

The road to heaven is narrow....

19 posted on 04/09/2009 3:50:21 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: Osage Orange
Just blinded.........

No more blind than Catholics, Presbys, Nazarenes, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Universalists, Baptists, Muslims, et al.

20 posted on 04/09/2009 3:52:45 PM PDT by Glenn (Free Venezuela!)
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To: Glenn
LOL!!

Whatever, Glenn

21 posted on 04/09/2009 3:53:52 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: Osage Orange

Stand for nothing, fall for anything.


22 posted on 04/09/2009 4:01:24 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Stupidity has an expiration date 1-20-2013 *(Thanks Nana))
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To: Osage Orange

Hey don’t include the Presbyterians in your mix, we don’t stand for anything anymore, we can go any direction.


23 posted on 04/09/2009 4:03:04 PM PDT by BooBoo1000 (Some times I wake up grumpy, other times I let her sleep/)
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To: BooBoo1000; Glenn
Talk to Glenn....

But I understand..........

Ha!!

24 posted on 04/09/2009 4:06:29 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: Glenn
Heck..Glenn.

Free America!!

25 posted on 04/09/2009 4:07:31 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators. -Will Rogers)
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To: Alex Murphy
Hmm, reminds me of another guy who bilked his fellow Mormons out of millions...
 
 
 
http://www.robbevans.com/html/finadvnews.html
 
 
Maybe they can be roomies at the Federal Country Club.
 
 

26 posted on 04/09/2009 4:49:49 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: Colofornian

>>many of whom he met through his Mormon church

Seems to be a pattern.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2225800/posts?page=26#26

How much do those rungs on the “Ladder” cost, anyhow?


27 posted on 04/09/2009 4:52:56 PM PDT by LomanBill (Animals! The DemocRats blew up the windmill with an Acorn!)
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To: BooBoo1000

LOL...

We Methodist seem to have a case of that in some areas as well...


28 posted on 04/09/2009 4:53:45 PM PDT by ejonesie22 (Stupidity has an expiration date 1-20-2013 *(Thanks Nana))
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To: Glenn
I was very impressed. Good kids. Great attitude. Convicted. Intelligent.

Convicted already? For what?
29 posted on 04/09/2009 5:22:31 PM PDT by Moltke
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To: Osage Orange

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?


30 posted on 04/09/2009 5:40:46 PM PDT by Old Mountain man (Blessed be the Peacemaker.)
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To: SENTINEL

“YOUR church leaders claim contact with GOD before making CALLINGS FROM GOD for everything including ward janitor.”


Did Christ ‘call’ Judas?


31 posted on 04/09/2009 6:06:57 PM PDT by GreyMountainReagan (Liberals do not view the book 1984 as a warning but as a textbook.)
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To: Alex Murphy
Ex-Mormon bishop . . .

This is news.

I didn't know the ex-Mormons had bishops.

32 posted on 04/09/2009 6:18:19 PM PDT by Jess Kitting
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To: Jess Kitting

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.


33 posted on 04/09/2009 8:38:23 PM PDT by ODDITHER
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To: Alex Murphy

This surprises me since I’ve always thought Mormons were pretty honest.


34 posted on 04/10/2009 6:41:20 AM PDT by Marysecretary (.GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL)
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To: freeplancer

ALL? I hardly think so.


35 posted on 04/10/2009 6:41:51 AM PDT by Marysecretary (.GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL)
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To: freeplancer

Sounds like YOU are the one with drunk speak.


36 posted on 04/10/2009 6:43:44 AM PDT by Marysecretary (.GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL)
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To: Glenn
"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."

LOL!

The "queries" are indeed endless. It's Joe's fault; bottom line.

Hey, here's a lot of good questions to ask. :)

http://www.towertotruth.net/Mormon/witnessing/50_questions.htm

37 posted on 04/10/2009 9:55:49 PM PDT by NoRedTape
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To: SENTINEL
>>>But this story does prove that the Stake President who appointed him DID NOT receive a "Revelation from God" before he did so.

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.

38 posted on 04/13/2009 7:28:24 PM PDT by Rameumptom (Gen X= they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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