Shawn Merriman headed an investment firm, and served as a lay bishop of the Mormon Church. Over a period of 15 years, he scammed $21 million from friends, family, and church members – gaining a dubious title as “The Mormon Madoff” .
Using a Ponzi scheme, Merriman duped a total of 68 investors. Exploiting his position as a bishop, Merriman gained the trust of fellow Mormons. Church members who had invested, then encouraged others to invest.
Like Madoff, Merriman touted his investments as both “exclusive” and secure. Rather than investing the money he was given, however, Merriman used it to support a lavish lifestyle.