A Walkersville man was sentenced Friday in US District Court in Baltimore to nine years in prison for wire fraud from operating a Ponzi Scheme. Larry Michael Parrish, 49, also known as Michael Parrish, will also be put on three-years supervised released after he gets out of prison.
"Mr. Parrish was convicted of wire fraud arising from a pretty significant investment fraud scheme that resulted in losses to investors of $4-million," says Rod Rosenstein, the US Attorney for Maryland.
Rosenstein says Parrish was operating a company called IV Capital, Ltd., which claimed to invest in stocks, bonds, currencies and precious metals. He also said Parrish claimed to have $20-million or more under management, and a gross profit of 5% or more each month. "So these false representations induced people to invest money that Parrish said would be held in an escrow account that would be used to make these investments, when, in fact, all Parrish did was bleed off that money and use it for his own purposes," says Rosenstein. The US Attorney's Office says the money was placed in an offshore account in Bermuda, not an escrow account.
Part of the sentence requires Parrish to pay restitution to those he bilked, and Rosenstein says every effort will be made by the government to recoup that money. "Obviously, you can only collect as much money as he has, and so those investors are not going to be made whole. But at least they have the assurance that the government is going to do all that it can to identity any assets that Mr. Parrish has now, and that he acquires in the future, and require those assets to be paid over to the victims," he says.
Federal officials say Parrish bilked 70 investors between 2005 and 2009.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a judgment against Parrish in a separate civil action in US District Court in Denver in September, 2012.