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United States District Court for the District of Maryland
February 22, 2022, Decided; February 22, 2022, Filed
Civil Action No. RDB-18-2844
On September 11, 2018, a grand jury in the District of Maryland returned an indictment charging Defendants Kevin B. Merrill, Jay B. Ledford, and Cameron Jezierski with numerous counts, including wire fraud, identity theft, and money-laundering. See United States v. Kevin B. Merrill, et al., Criminal No. RDB-18-0465 (ECF No. 1, unsealed on September 18, 2018, ECF No. 12.) On January 8, 2019, a superseding indictment charged an additional defendant, Amanda Merrill, with conspiracy to obstruct justice. United States v. Kevin B. Merrill, et al., Criminal No. RDB-18-0465 (Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 60). Kevin Merrill, Jay Ledford, Cameron Jezierski, and Amanda Merrill have all since pled guilty and were sentenced by this Court in the criminal case. Id. (ECF Nos. 76, 81, 87, 140, 146, 169, 183, 218).
On September 13, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filed a Complaint (ECF No. 1) alleging that Kevin Merrill, Jay Ledford, and Cameron Jezierski (collectively, the "Defendants") raised more than $345 million from over 230 investors to purportedly purchase consumer debt portfolios. The SEC alleges [*4] that from at least 2013 to 2018, the Defendants operated a Ponzi-like scheme that involved, among other things, securities offerings "rife with misrepresentations," fake debt, forged signatures, fabricated wire transfers, the movement of millions of dollars into personal accounts, and an elaborate scheme wherein Defendants offered and sold investments in the same debt and/or debt portfolios, to multiple victims. (Compl., ECF No. 1 ¶ 1.) On November 6, 2018, the SEC filed an Amended Complaint, adding Amanda Merrill ("Ms. Merrill") and Lalaine Ledford as Relief Defendants.1 (Am. Compl., ECF No. 50.)
Presently before this Court is the SEC's Memorandum of Law Establishing a Prima Facie Case for Equitable Disgorgement Against Relief Defendant Amanda Merrill. (ECF No. 498.) The parties' submissions have been reviewed, and this Court held a telephonic motions hearing on February 8, 2022 at which it heard the arguments of counsel. For the reasons that follow, this Court GRANTS partial summary judgment in favor the SEC as to the $6.2 million in proceeds from the sales of the residences at 1055 Spyglass Lane, Naples, Florida (the "Spyglass Lane" property) and 27776 Sharp Road, Easton, [*5] Maryland (the "Sharp Road" property) (collectively, the "Vacation Homes"). Relief Defendant Merrill is liable for disgorgement of the entire value of the net proceeds, representing ill-gotten gains she received as a result of Mr. Merrill's admitted fraud.
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2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31181 *; 2022 WL 541161
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Plaintiff, v. KEVIN B. MERRILL, et al., Defendants.
Prior History: SEC v. Merrill, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17969, 2019 WL 4916164 (D. Md., Feb. 1, 2019)
disgorgement, proceeds, equitable, funds, sales, entireties, summary judgment, ill-gotten