Maryland Couple Pays $4 Million Penalty for Ponzi Scheme

They filed for bankruptcy in 2016

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — A Maryland couple have agreed to a consent order to pay a nearly $4 million penalty for promoting a Ponzi-like scheme.

The Maryland Office of the Attorney General announced sanctions against Ronald and Diane Morley on Friday. According to the complaint, the Morleys convinced 130 investors in nine states to invest $33 million in preferred stock in Nevada-based Summit Trust Company. They received a commission of more than $3 million.

The release says the Morleys owned and operated several Maryland-based businesses and were involved in “multiple fraudulent offerings of unregistered securities.” A 2006 consent order found they violated state law in connection with selling Mexico-based real estate investments. They were barred from engaging in securities and investment advising in Maryland.