Ex-UVA football player sentenced to prison for investment and loan fraud schemes
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A former University of Virginia football player has been sentenced to decades in prison for a multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme.
Court documents show 39-year-old Merrill Robertson, Jr. of Chesterfield started the Cavalier Union Investments, LLC and Black Bull Wealth Management, LLC with Sherman Carl Vaughn.
Between 2008 and 2016, the two were accused of soliciting people to money in private investment funds they managed and in other investment opportunities they proposed.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Robertson would find potential investors through various contacts he had, including ones he had made while playing football at Fork Union Military Academy, UVA and in the NFL. Vaughn focused on developing investment opportunities.
Evidence showed that among other things, Robertson led investors to believe he was an experienced advisor and that his company was qualified to serve as a "custodian of retirement accounts."
He also told people that money would be deposited into individual tax-deferred retirement accounts and it was secured by "tangible cash-producing assets" his company owned.
The release says Robertson and Vaughn were able to fraudulently obtain more than $10 million from more than 60 investors as a result of this scheme.
Much of that money was spent on their own personal living expenses, such as mortgages and car payments, school tuitions, spa visits, restaurants, department stores, and vacations.
The release says by 2015, most of the money the two men had collected had been spent and Robertson was unable to raise new investor capital.
So Robertson then began approaching Cavalier investors and other friends and said he would help them get loans in exchange for a part of the loan proceeds.
Robertson and other people would then falsify loan applications that were submitted to various banks and credit unions, which included false statements about the borrower's personal financial status, the purpose of the loan, and if the loan was secured by collateral.
Through this secondary loan fraud scheme, Robertson and other people were able to get nearly $250,000 from at least five financial institutions.
On Jan. 3, Robertson was been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the investment fraud and loan fraud schemes.