Nearly a decade after Troy Wragg’s role in a $54 million Ponzi scheme involving green energy and real estate investments in Tennessee was exposed, the 37-year-old former Manayunk resident was sentenced to 22 years in prison and ordered to pay $54 million in restitution, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Tuesday.
Fresh out of Temple University, Wragg founded Bala Cynwyd-based Mantria Corp. and between 2005 and 2009 took in $54 million from investors across the United States, promising 50 percent returns or better. The investments came through Wragg’s codefendant, Wade McKelvy, who operated unlicensed investment clubs in Colorado. McKelvy was convicted at trial last October. His sentencing date has not been set.
While out on bail pending his sentencing, Wragg committed a second fraud, the U.S. Attorney said, soliciting an investment in an online dating service, called LUVR, promising that the company was about to be acquired. In reality, no such deal existed.
“Wragg and his coconspirators talked a big game about their bogus trash-to-green-energy business, but it was all a lie. And when he was caught in this lie, he just couldn’t help himself and decided to scam yet another innocent investor,” U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said in a news release. “The defendant is clearly a danger to the public and deserves to be in prison for a very long time. My office thanks the court for delivering an appropriate sentence.”