Auction Benefits Ponzi Scheme Victims

DENVER (CBS4) – Nearly 70 Colorado investors who were scammed out of just over $20 million gained some of the money the lost back on Saturday.

Ponzi scheme operator Shawn Merriman is serving 12 years in prison for mail fraud and a fake investment operation that went on for more than 10 years.

Friends, neighbors and members of Merriman’s church turned over retirement money for Merriman to invest in the stock market. Instead he spent it on valuable items for himself.

U.S. marshals worked with Dickensheets and Associates to put on the auction and the money will be dispersed to the victims. Even though it may hardly make a dent in what they lost in the scheme. But the auction house, which sees an average of 200 to 250 bidders for each auction, had more than 1,600 bidders Saturday.

Bidders said the items were going for a lot of money — perhaps more than they were worth, some said. Some hoping for deals said the prices got too expensive.

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