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Cornelius News

Bradley, Hershey will be sentenced Oct. 26 in wire fraud case

Bradley and Hershey face up to a $250,000 fine

Oct. 4. Sentencing hearings for Marlin Shawn Hershey and Dana Bradley have been set for Oct. 26 in the courtroom of Judge Frank Whitney. The Cornelius residents could face up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud conspiracy for orchestrating a large-scale investment scheme.

Federal prosecutors said they ran a classic Ponzi scheme.

According to filed court documents and the plea hearings, from approximately 2009 to 2021, the two conspired to defraud numerous victims who invested in two unregistered securities offerings promoted by the defendants, Performance Retire on Rentals and Distressed Lending Fund.

Both projects eventually failed causing significant losses to investors, many of them local. Bradley lives on Waterview while Hershey lives on Fisherman’s Rest.

False, misleading statements

As reflected in court documents, to induce investors to invest their money, Hershey and Bradley provided victims with false and misleading statements.

For example, Hershey and Bradley failed to disclose that they received commission-like payments based on the amount of investments they sold. In fact, the defendants often provided investors with offering materials that represented the opposite – that nobody would be paid a commission in connection with the investments.

Hershey and Bradley received payments that were typically 10 percent of an investor’s initial investment and often received an additional payment when an investor extended an investment. According to federal officials, Hershey and Bradley received hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed payments from the sale of securities. Filed documents also show that, in addition to these payments, the defendants received regular undisclosed “management” fees from Performance Retire and Distressed Lending Fund.

Failure to disclose material info

According to court records, Hershey and Bradley also failed to disclose to investors other material information, including negative information about the defendants’ backgrounds and the financial woes faced by some of the entities for which they were soliciting investments.

Because the defendants often solicited the same group of investors to invest in the various projects, they took steps to conceal such financial difficulties by making undisclosed loans to various entities so that the entities could, in turn, make their required interest payments to investors.

Hershey and Bradley also solicited new investors and used the new investors’ money to repay the loans and to make Ponzi-style payments to previous investors. In addition, the defendants sent to investors periodic performance reports that failed to disclose material information about the status and health of their investments.

Possible prison

The wire fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.