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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Las Vegas Man Charged with Operating Sports Wagering Ponzi Scheme that Stole $8.5 Million from Victims

Matthew J. Turnipseede, 49, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was charged today in a 13-count indictment with defrauding approximately 72 investors in the Northern District of Ohio and elsewhere out of more than $8.5 million through a Ponzi scheme that promised investors double-digit profits achieved through various sports wagering businesses.

The defendant was officially charged with 12 counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.

According to the indictment, from March 2015 to May 2021, the defendant induced victims to invest money in companies that he owned, namely Edgewize LLC, Moneyline Analytics, Moneyline Analytics Dublin Branch, and another company incorporated by Turnipseede, by falsely claiming that investor funds would be used to make sophisticated sports wagers according to an algorithm that generated double-digit returns. 

According to the indictment, none of these companies ever generated the promised profits, and instead the defendant used investor money to maintain the business, seek new sources of funds, pay off earlier investors and fund personal expenses. 

The indictment alleges that the defendant provided victim investors with operating agreements in which he claimed that all money invested would be used exclusively to place bets on sporting events and that the defendant would not be paid any compensation for placing the wagers but would retain a percentage of the winning profits.

To perpetuate the scheme, the defendant is accused of periodically emailing fraudulent financial statements to victims purporting to show substantial gains on their investments and employing an accounting firm to generate IRS forms based on fraudulent figures provided to the firm by the defendant.  The indictment alleges that the defendant’s sports wagers never generated the promised profits for investors and that the information provided to the accounting firm was fraudulent.  It is alleged that if a victim sought to withdraw some or all of their investments, the defendant used money from other victims’ contributions to cover the withdrawal.

In addition, it is also alleged that the defendant used investor funds to finance his personal expenses, including family vacations to Disneyland and Hawaii, spa treatments, lease payments on multiple vehicles and country club membership dues.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum; in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

This case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erica D. Barnhill and Brian McDonough.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Daniel Ball Daniel.Ball@usdoj.gov
Updated August 11, 2022