MN Man Gets 5-Yr. Sentence for $11M Ponzi Scheme
The founder of an investment firm called 3 Hooligans Investment Properties, LLC, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for defrauding investors out of more than $11 million, according to Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In addition to handing down the prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery ordered Jason Michael Meyer to pay $6.4 million in restitution, according to court documents. Meyer was sentenced on one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering; he was charged in August and pleaded guilty the following month.
Meyer started 3 Hooligans in 2007. In his plea agreement, he admitted to promoting himself as an experienced investor and soliciting investments with his firm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He told clients they would receive significant and rapid returns on their investments, which would pose little or no risk. But instead of investing their money, he often used the funds for his personal expenses—including payments on his house in Rochester, family vacations, and payments on his wife’s BMW, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He then solicited new clients and used their new investments to pay previous investors, thus perpetuating what his attorney referred to in court documents as a Ponzi scheme.
Prior to the fraud scheme being uncovered in 2010, Meyer took part in money laundering and wire fraud transactions that collectively led to losses in excess of $11 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In court documents, Meyer’s attorney described the defendant as unsophisticated in the world of finance, saying that due to lack of training, he found himself “way over his head” and “in a spiral where he had to obtain funds to pay prior investors, hence a Ponzi scheme.”
A report by the Star Tribune, meanwhile, states that Meyer has been dogged with fraud allegations for years, piling up judgments in excess of $20 million.