Skip to main content
Press Release

Wheeling businessman charged with wire fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Jeffrey James Morris, age 36, of Wheeling, West Virginia, was charged today with wire fraud.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Morris is charged with fraudulently inducing an individual to provide him with funds to renovate the Scottish Rite Cathedral, a building located at the corner of Fourteenth and Byron Streets in East Wheeling. It is alleged that Morris, who is the managing member and majority owner of Roxby Development, LLC, caused an investor to provide him with $350,000 to rehabilitate the Cathedral but instead used the funds for other purposes. It is further alleged that Morris misrepresented work performed upon the Cathedral, the status of the historic tax credits, and the amount of rental income from a purported tenant.

The principal purpose of Roxby Development, LLC, was to acquire and develop real estate in the region, to include the Cathedral, the McClure House Hotel, and the Mount Carmel Monastery. The Roxby companies received a total of $6.9 million dollars from approximately twenty investors between October 2019 until July 2022.

“Jeffrey Morris made misrepresentations to people in Wheeling, West Virginia, and throughout the country in order to fund a fraudulent scheme,” said United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld. “His arrest today brings an end to a ruse in which innocent investors were tricked into providing him with millions of dollars.”

According to Ihlenfeld, additional charges will be filed at a later date. Today’s charge and arrest were necessitated by Morris’s plan to travel outside of the United States next week. Morris appeared in federal court this afternoon where he surrendered his passport and then was released under terms and conditions imposed by the court.

U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas are prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-CI.

Morris is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated September 8, 2023

Financial Fraud