RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A former University of Virginia football star and Chesterfield native was arrested Wednesday morning for his part in an investment fraud scheme that caused over $8 million in losses for his clients.
Authorities say that Merrill Robertson, Jr., 36, of Chesterfield is accused of obtaining over $8 million from over 40 investors between 2009 and 2015 which he mishandled and misrepresented how he used.
Robertson allegedly signed promissory notes with these investors that guaranteed a specific rate of return before sending them statements misrepresenting the value of their investment.
In a deposition with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2015, Robertson admitted that the company failed to pay back the $8 million in principle that was given to him by investors while admitting the company currently had no assets.
Robertson also admitted at that time to regularly mingling business, personal and investor money. This included spending investor money to pay for personal expenses like his mortgage and car payments.
Robertson is now charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
If convicted, Robertson faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Prior to opening his two investment firms, Robertson was known for his play on the football field.
After excelling at LC Bird High School, from which he graduated in 1998, Robertson went on to play linebacker at the University of Virginia. After college, he joined the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie in 2003 but was cut before the season began.
- Read: Court documents detailing Robertson’s charges.