Sadly, here’s another story of a Madoff-investment scheme run by a Latter-day Saint, Shawn Merriman, who at some point through all this served as a bishop, no less:

Merriman was friendly and down-to-earth. He once got on a plane to fly to a funeral with investors, and took a bunch of his neighbors and friends to a college football game. But he was a disastrous money manager, federal authorities alleged in a complaint unsealed last week, losing $400,000 his first year and turning from legitimate trading to a long-running Ponzi scheme that he held together for nearly 15 years.

The Arapahoe County man promised returns even in bad times, and he delivered, on paper at least. At 46, he had amassed an impressive collection of art — including more than 40 prints by Rembrandt — as well as automobiles, guns and sports memorabilia. He had a great-looking family and a trophy home. He had standing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he was a lay bishop.

But it was all a facade.

This one strikes closer to home, literally — Merriman lives less than 10 miles from where I do, though he’s in an entirely different stake.

We all have business and/or financial struggles from time to time, and we all can make mistakes and miscalculations that hurt ourselves and others, financially or otherwise. But from the newspaper article, it appears that over a period of 15 years, Merriman knowingly defrauded people who trusted him out of close to $20 million dollars — and for many of these people, it was their life savings.  ..bruce..

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