Former L.C. Bird High School and University of Virginia football player Merrill Robertson was convicted by a federal jury Monday in a long-running, $10 million fraud.
Merrill Robertson, Jr., 39, of Chesterfield, was convicted of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering and faces up to 330 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 3 by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr.
In 2017, Robertson was convicted by a jury of the same offenses and was sentenced by Gibney to 40 years in prison. But earlier this year an appeals court ordered a new trial because jurors were not questioned adequately about whether they had read a newspaper story about the case.
Robertson started Cavalier Union Investments, LLC, and Black Bull Wealth Management, LLC, with co-conspirator Sherman Carl Vaughn, 48. From 2008-2016, the two solicited victims to invest in private investment funds and other investments they proposed.
Potential investors were identified by Robertson through relationships and contacts he made playing football at L.C. Bird, Fork Union Military Academy, the University of Virginia and briefly in the National Football League. Vaughn, convicted and sentenced to 12 years, focused on developing investment opportunities.
The two defrauded more than $10 million — in some cases entire life savings — from 63 investors, spending much of it on themselves.
The U.S. attorney’s office said that Robertson led investors to believe he was an experienced investment advisor, that his company was qualified to serve as a custodian of retirement accounts, that investor money was deposited into individual tax-deferred retirement accounts, and that investor money was secured by assets owned by his company.
Robertson and others also obtained nearly $250,000 by submitting falsified loan applications to at least 5 financial institutions.
The case was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service and prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Katherine Lee Martin, Stephen E. Anthony and Kenneth Simon.