Green Energy Fraud Promoter Sentenced in $54 Million Ponzi Scheme

By August 12, 2021 Ponzi Scheme

Wayde McKelvy, 59, of Aurora, Colo., was recently sentenced to 18 years in prison for operating a $54 million Ponzi scheme described as one of the largest green energy frauds in U.S. history.

In addition to the prison sentence, McKelvy was also ordered to pay $37 million in restitution to his victims.

According to a Department of Justice news release:

“In October 2018, the defendant was convicted after trial of seven counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to engage in securities fraud. The government established at trial that McKelvy and his co-conspirators ran an elaborate Ponzi scheme operating as Mantria Corporation, which received more than $54 million in fraudulently obtained new investor funds. The group promised investors huge returns, as high as 484%, for securities investments in supposedly profitable business ventures in real estate and green energy.  In reality, Mantria, based in Bala Cynwyd, PA, was a classic Ponzi scheme in which new investor money was used to pay “returns” to early investors, and the business generated meager revenues and no actual profits.

To induce investors to invest money, the defendant and his co-conspirators repeatedly made fraudulent representations and material omissions about the economic state of Mantria.   McKelvy also promoted himself as a financial wizard through aggressive marketing tactics, even though he had little financial acumen and was an unlicensed securities salesman. McKelvy operated what he called “Speed of Wealth” clubs, which advertised on television, radio and the Internet, held seminars for prospective investors, and promised to make them rich. During those seminars and other programs, McKelvy lied to prospective investors to dupe them into investing in Mantria. When the SEC shut down Mantria in November 2009, the pyramid scheme collapsed and was exposed.”

Fishman Haygood’s Investment Fraud Division has experience bringing claims on behalf of investors who were the victims of Ponzi schemes, including against Allen Stanford.

If you believe you have suffered losses in the Green Energy Fraud Ponzi Scheme or other investment scheme, please contact us to discuss your possible claim