Michael has over 20 years of experience representing individual and small business plaintiffs against the world’s large financial institutions, including Visa, Mastercard, and Chase.
On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, a Federal grand jury in Colorado charged Mark Ray, Reva Stachniw, and Ron Throgmartin with running a $650 million Ponzi Scheme. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Ray, Stachniw, and Throgmartin often told investors that their investments were linked to business activities or short-term investments in cattle and marijuana. In reality, the Department states, investors’ money was primarily used to pay back other investors or to enrich those running the scheme.
If you invested in MR Cattle or other Mark Ray businesses, you may have a serious claim. Speak with an investment fraud lawyer to learn more.
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Cattle and Marijuana Ponzi Scheme Indictments; Investors Lose Millions
Mark Ray, Reva Stachniw, and Ron Throgmartin have been criminally indicted for running a Ponzi scheme that allegedly raised more than $650 million from investors. According to the Department of Justice, investors lost tens of millions of dollars.
The Department of Justice names three main variations of the investment fraud scheme:
- The conspirators fraudulently told investors that their money was backed by short-term investments in cattle.
- The conspirators fraudulently solicited money for the Colorado-based marijuana business, Universal Herbs LLC.
- The conspirators falsely promised investors that their money would be used for legitimate cattle- or marijuana-based business activity.
According to the Department of Justice, Ray, Stachniw, and Throgmartin promised investors in these schemes 10% to 20% returns, sometimes over periods as short as several weeks. However, instead of paying back investors, the conspirators primarily used investors’ money to pay back earlier investors or to enrich themselves. In fact, the Department of Justice states,
Stachniw and Throgmartin allegedly received millions of dollars from the scheme, despite putting little to none of their own money into it.
As a result of their involvement in the Ponzi scheme, Stachniw and Throgmartin face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud, and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy related to property derived from unlawful activity.
Mark Ray Uses MR Cattle and Universal Herbs in Ponzi Scheme
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mark Ray directed the movement of more than $140 million per month through bank accounts which he controlled during the height of the Ponzi scheme. Further, Ray controlled a number of corporate entities which he used to solicit investments and receive money from investors. These entities include:
- Custom Consulting and Product Services, LLC
- MR Cattle Production Services, LLC
- Universal Herbs, LLC; DBC Limited, LLC
- RM Farm and Livestock, LLC
- Sunshine Enterprises
If you invested through any of these companies controlled by Mark Ray, you may have an investment fraud claim. Contact us to learn more about recovering your losses.
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Gibbs Law Group is currently investigating a number of investments on behalf of shareholders. These investments include:
- Northstar Healthcare Income REIT
- Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust
- FS Credit Real Estate Income Trust–I
- The Parking REIT
- Cole Credit Property Trust III (“CCPT III”)
- Apple non-traded REIT
If you invested in any of these investments, or others, we may be able to help. Speak with a lawyer today to learn more.
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