On April 27, 2012, in Tampa, Florida, Marian I. Morgan, of Sarasota, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for conspiracy, wire fraud, interstate/foreign transportation of stolen funds, money laundering, and filing false tax returns. Morgan was also ordered to pay $19,958,995 in restitution. Her husband, John Morgan, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges in June 2011 and was sentenced to 121 months in prison in November 2011. According to the evidence presented at trial, Marian and John Morgan, were principals of a company named Morgan European Holdings from approximately 2005 to 2009. They promoted sham “high yield/ prime bank note” investment programs, promising investors that they would receive returns of 200-300 percent in three months and that their principal funds would be held safe in an escrow account in Denmark. Evidence at trial, however, showed that the Morgans spent more than $10 million of investor money on themselves soon after investors wired the funds to the escrow account. The Morgans purchased luxury automobiles, a waterfront mansion, and numerous luxury items with investor funds. When investors inquired about the status of their investments, Marian I. Morgan sent repeated “lulling” communications, assuring the investors that their funds were safe in the escrow account. Between 2005 and 2009, the evidence showed that the Morgans took in more than $28 million in investor funds and returned some funds in the form of “Ponzi” payments. The Morgans were arrested in August 2009 in Sri Lanka after attempting to pass a forged financial instrument and were returned by federal agents to the United States in December 2009.
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