News and Press Releases

Nevada Woman Indicted on Wire Fraud Conspiracy for College Financial Aid Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. – Linda Palmer Taylor, 61, of Henderson, Nevada, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday and arrested this morning in Nevada on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Wire Fraud.   

                Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Michael F. A. Morehart, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement.  Taylor faces a maximum penalty of twenty years on each count.

                According to the indictment, Taylor was an owner of several companies that purported to assist families with finding and securing financial aid for college expensesAlong with Edward Menster, she allegedly sold approximately $1.6 million in annuities to investors in California, Colorado, and Virginia, through two different companies - College Funding Associates and the College Dream Foundation.  It is further alleged that Taylor and Menster made false representations to investors about the security of the funds by claiming that the funds were collateralized or guaranteed when, in fact, Taylor and Menster knew that they were not secured.  The indictment alleges that the money raised by investors was used by Taylor and Menster for their own personal gain or for the benefit of companies owned by Taylor and Menster, and was used to make interest payments and withdrawals to previous investors in a Ponzi-like scheme. 

                Linda Taylor’s alleged co-conspirator, Ed Menster, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud on December 2, 2011.  He faces a maximum penalty of twenty years’ imprisonment when he is sentenced on March 9, 2012.          

                This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Jamie L. Mickelson is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

                Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

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