3RD UPDATE 2:56 P.M. EDT OCT 25 U.S.A. James Merrill, the president of TelexFree, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy in Massachusetts federal court.
Merrill, 55, of Ashland, Mass., is scheduled to be sentenced in February.
“The significance of a guilty plea in a case of this magnitude cannot be overstated,” said special agent in charge Matthew Etre of Homeland Security Investigations, Boston. “James Merrill is finally facing justice for his role in bilking more than $3 billion from innocent investors, in more than 240 countries around the world, for what amounted to little more than greed. HSI special agents will continue to aggressively investigate those who seek to profit by taking advantage of others.”
Records show Merrill formalized a plea agreement Friday with the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz. The agreement calls for a maximum prison term of 10 years, plus forfeiture of criminal proceeds, including about $140 million, real estate, cars and boats, prosecutors said.
The Telegram & Gazette, via Twitter and its own website, was first with the news of the formal guilty plea. The Boston Globe also was in the Worcester courtroom of U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Hillman this afternoon.
NOTE: Our thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.