Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brazen Biofuel Bilk--Another Ponzi Scheme Pollutes the Investment Environment

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Mantria Investment, Speed of Wealth LLC, Wayne and Donna McKelvy, Troy Wragg and Amanda Knorr with investment fraud in the marketing of a "green" residential community in rural Tennessee and a "biochar" charcoal substitute. According to the SEC, the defendants (Mantria, Speed, the McKelvys, etc.) actually were running a Ponzi scheme with virtually no actual revenue and no return to investors except perhaps a share of receipts from later investors. The defendants primarily targeted elderly individuals through seminars and "webinars." The SEC seeks an asset freeze, injunctions and financial penalties.

Preying on the money of elderly people with little ability to earn enough to make up losses is only marginally less despicable than molesting children. Should the SEC charges hold up in court, we can only hope that the courts will show little mercy to the defendants.


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