BULLETIN: Senior Ponzi Schemer Edward May, 75, Sentenced To 16 Years In Federal Prison; $350 Million Ponzi Swindle Called Largest In Eastern Michigan History

BULLETIN: Edward May, 75, effectively has been sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating an elaborate Ponzi scheme that gathered about $350 million and fleeced 1,200 people. Many of his victims were fellow senior citizens, although May also altered the lives of younger victims.

Prosecutors described the May Ponzi as the largest in the history of the Eastern Michigan District.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow sentenced May today to 16 years after May’s April guilty plea to 59 counts of mail fraud. Prosecutors said May established as many as 150 LLCs to pull off the scheme, which operated for a decade. The SEC sued May in 2007.

One of May’s victims told prosecutors that he considered suicide after being bilked by May.

“Complex fraud schemes like this one rob investors of their savings and erode public confidence in legitimate investments,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan. “This loss of public confidence in investment opportunities, in turn, depresses our economy. By prosecuting those who commit fraud, we hope to deter others from committing similar crimes.”

May falsely traded on the name of Hilton Hotel Corp.,  MGM-Mirage Resorts Inc., the MGM Grand Hotel, Motel 6, the Tropicana Resort Casino and the Sheraton Hotels chain as part of the fraud, according to court filings. He also claimed that he was supplying telecommunications services through a purported “Norwegian” company.

In an often-heard refrain in the Ponzi world, May went into excuse-making mode when his caper collapsed, claiming payments to investors were delayed because of the company’s growing pains.

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6 Responses to “BULLETIN: Senior Ponzi Schemer Edward May, 75, Sentenced To 16 Years In Federal Prison; $350 Million Ponzi Swindle Called Largest In Eastern Michigan History”

  1. A lot of senior citizens get popped for scams lately. Is it a trend or it always been this way?

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  2. This gives us hope that Andy will spend time behind bars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. boris: A lot of senior citizens get popped for scams lately. Is it a trend or it always been this way?

    It has always been this way. Just more of them grabbing headlines now than in the past. Seniors are targeted because that is where most of the money is, and crooks know it.

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  4. And the man in the street has been taught almost from birth to “respect his/her elders”

    Look at kindly ol’ Uncle Andy Bowdoin.

    Who woulda thought, hey ??

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  5. boris: A lot of senior citizens get popped for scams lately. Is it a trend or it always been this way?

    Boris, sadly, scamming seniors and the vulnerable have existed since the days of the caveman. The primary thing that scammers count on is that seniors come from a different time and generally trust people and take them at their word. That is something the conman thrives upon.

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