Former wife of Ponzi schemer: ‘Our entire life had been based on a lie’

On March 18, 2009, Shawn Merriman visited his lawyer. Together they went to the federal government and handed them a case.

His next stop was to talk to the leaders at the Church of Latter Day Saints, where he was a respected bishop. He confessed that the company he started 14 years earlier, Market Street Investors, was a fraud.

Then he came home and told his wife.

Shawn Merriman had accumulated a $4 million fine-art collection, classic cars, expensive boats and a luxury mobile home. He had paid off the families’ million dollar house in Aurora. It had all been funded with money he stole from his clients.

Last September the admitted Ponzi-schemer was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison in an emotion-filled hearing that included an appeal from his mother, one of his victims, to “make him pay.”


Now divorced, Andrea — who was unaware of her husband’s fraudulent business — shares her story on her blog, The Unexpected Life.

She was recently interviewed by Colorado’s 9News:

Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend
How Ponzi Schemes and Pyramid Frauds Work
In every Ponzi scheme, some investors profit early on. But courts can force them to return the money, even if they were unaware of the fraud.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 12, 2014