Accountant pleads guilty to participating in Ponzi scheme


 A Texas accountant has pleaded guilty in Maryland to participating in a scheme to defraud investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office says in a news release that 55-year-old Jay Ledford pleaded guilty Thursday to charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Hur’s office says the charges stem from a $550 million investment fraud scheme that operated from 2013 through September 2018.

Two other people — 53-year-old Kevin Merrill of Towson, Maryland, and 28-year-old Cameron Jezierski of Fort Worth, Texas — previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the Ponzi scheme.

Hur’s office says Ledford provided Merrill with fictitious sales agreements and false tax returns to solicit investors to purchase consumer debt portfolios.

Ledford is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 29.

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