Colorado's Got a Ponzi Schemer of Its Own

April 2009

New York's got Bernie Madoff. Now Colorado has an alleged Ponzi schemer: Shawn Merriman, who was sued yesterday by federal regulators for running a 15-year scam, amassing an enviable collection of cars and art, writes Bloomberg News. While running Market Street Advisors, Merriman raised as much as $20 million and, the feds say, "repeatedly deceived investors, many of whom considered him a personal friend, by sending them fictitious account statements showing annual rates of return of 7 to 20 percent." Merriman, a former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had collected a silver Aston Martin, a 1932 Ford Highboy, guns, taxidermy, and art by the Old Masters, including more than one Rembrandt, according to The Associated Press . Merriman, of Aurora, is so far not facing criminal charges and is cooperating with investigators, reports 9News, which quotes one of Merriman's alleged victims saying, "I don't know what I could have done to foresee this. He was very good at what he did."