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Cornelius News

Marlin Hershey, Performance Holdings assessed millions in damages in Colorado civil trial

Nov. 15. By Dave Yochum. A suit brought by the court-appointed receiver for a failed real estate company in Denver, Colo., has resulted in judgments worth on the order of $11 million against Marlin Hershey, a Cornelius resident, and his company, Huntersville-based Performance Holdings

After the verdicts were announced, Hershey, representing himself, said he would appeal.


He and business partner Dana Bradley—also a Cornelius resident—have already pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy for orchestrating a large-scale investment scheme in Charlotte criminal court and will be sentenced before year-end. Bradley was not part of the Denver case, but he is co-owner with Hershey in Performance Holdings, an investment company that operated as a Ponzi scheme.

According to filed court documents and the plea hearings, from approximately 2009 to 2021, Hershey and Bradley conspired to defraud numerous victims who invested in two unregistered securities offerings promoted by the defendants, Performance Retire on Rentals, LLC (Performance Retire), and Distressed Lending Fund (DLF). As the defendants admitted in court today, both projects eventually failed causing significant losses to investors.

Gary Dragul

Bradley was not named in the Denver civil matter which was brought by the receiver for Gary Dragul, a real estate investor who has pled guilty to two counts of securities fraud.

In the Denver matter, the jury determined that Hershey and Performance Holdings must pay $1.76 million each due to negligence, as well as $1.76 million each under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA).

Both Hershey as an individual and Performance Holdings were held liable for misrepresentation to the tune of $200,000 each.


Performance Holdings was assessed damages of $764,000 for fraudulent transfer.

Both Hershey as an individual and Performance Holdings were assessed damages off $1.529 million for unjust enrichment.

To read the verdicts, click here.

After entering their guilty pleas in the Charlotte wire fraud/investment scheme, Hershey and Bradley were released on bond. The wire fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been announced, after having been postponed due to the Colorado case.