Colorado Real Estate Ponzi Scheme Busted

Allison Tussey —  July 29, 2009 — Leave a comment

A Denver Grand Jury handed down a 70 count indictment against two men accused of running a real estate Ponzi scheme to take in millions of dollars: 

Michael Marshall, 61, was charged with violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit theft, four counts of theft and sixty-three counts of securities fraud.  Gregory Russell, 46, was charged with violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit theft, four counts of theft and fifty-four counts of securities fraud.

The indictment alleges that Marshall and Russell took in $9.7 million dollars from more than 60 victims through different investment scams between March 2005 and March 2007. According to media reports, the stated business plan of Uriels, Inc., Marshall‘s company, “was to invest in executive real-estate rentals, “fix and flips,” and other financial instruments.” Victims who invested with Uriels Inc. typically received a few months of investment returns before the returns stopped. The charges allege that Marshall and Russell failed to disclose required information to potential investors, only invested a portion of the money received, and used money from new investors to pay obligations to prior investors.

Russell was arrested and remains in custody in the Denver County Jail in Colorado; his bond is set at $1,000,000. Marshall has been taken into custody in Wisconsin; his bond is set at $500,000. Court appearances are still pending.

The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Colorado Division of Securities.

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Allison Tussey

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