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White-Collar Crime

Former Managing Partner Gets 99 Years in $25M Investment Scheme

Posted Feb 24, 2010 2:17 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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When Edward Digges Jr. bilked one of his best clients at Digges Wharton & Levin out of $3.1 million in an overbilling scheme, he served two years in federal prison after pleading guilty in 1990 to mail fraud. He also was fined $1 million and wound up with a $3.6 million civil judgment against him.

But despite being disbarred, the former managing partner of the now-shuttered Annapolis, Md., law firm went on to another money-making project. From his waterfront home in Cambridge, Md., he persuaded investors nationwide to pony up $25 million for a share of the revenue Digges supposedly generated through leased point-of-sale terminals used by retailers to process credit and debit card transactions, reports the Baltimore Sun.

In fact, according to prosecutors, the revenue Digges claimed to be earning from his Millennium Terminal Investment Program didn't exist. Convicted in Texas earlier this month of aggregated securities fraud, he was sentenced last week to a 99-year prison term by a Collin County jury.

Money Digges earned from his scheme helped pay for two luxury homes, a boat and yacht club harborage, a leased Jaguar, his wife's purchases at Nordstrom's and his children's student loans, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

Despite years of run-ins with federal securities regulators and their counterparts in four states and the jailing of at least one of his salesmen, Digges wasn't prosecuted concerning his investment activities until Texas went after him in 2005, reports the Star-Telegram.

Additional coverage:

Baltimore Business Journal: "Former Annapolis lawyer and federal convict Digges gets SEC sanctions"

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