U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 24009 / December 13, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Merrill Robertson, Jr., et al., No. 16-cv-667 (E.D. Va. filed Aug. 10, 2016)
United States v. Merrill Robertson, Jr., No. 16-cr-133 (E.D. Va. filed Aug. 10, 2016)
Former Professional Football Player Sentenced to 40 Years for Running $10 Million Fraud
Merrill Robertson Jr., a former player for the Philadelphia Eagles, has been sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment for defrauding investors, including coaches he knew from his time playing football for the Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Virginia.
The criminal charges against Robertson arose from the same conduct alleged in a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission the same day the criminal charges were announced. According to the SEC’s complaint, Robertson, Sherman C. Vaughn Jr., and the company they co-owned, Cavalier Union Investments LLC, promised to invest in diversified holdings but diverted nearly $6 million of the more than $10 million they raised from investors to pay for personal expenses and used other funds to repay earlier investors. Vaughn, who also was charged criminally, pled guilty in September 2016; a jury convicted Robertson on August 24, 2017.
The SEC’s litigation against Robertson, Vaughn and Cavalier Union, which was stayed pending the completion of Robertson’s criminal trial, is ongoing. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and civil penalties.
The SEC encourages investors to check the backgrounds of people selling investments by using the SEC’s investor.gov website to quickly identify whether they are registered professionals and confirm their identity.
The SEC thanks the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their efforts in prosecuting the case.