U.S SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 21301 / November 17, 2009
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mantria Corporation, Troy B. Wragg, Amanda E. Knorr, Speed of Wealth, LLC, Wayde M. McKelvy, and Donna M. McKelvy, Case No.: 09-CV-02676-CMA-MJW
SEC OBTAINS EMERGENCY RELIEF AGAINST ALLEGED PROMOTERS OF “GREEN” INVESTMENT PONZI SCHEME
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on November 16, 2009, it filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against Mantria Corporation, Troy B. Wragg, Amanda E. Knorr, Speed of Wealth, LLC, Wayde M. McKelvy, and Donna M. McKelvy, for allegedly perpetrating a $30 million Ponzi scheme in which they persuaded more than 300 investors nationwide to participate in purported environmentally-friendly investment opportunities. Mantria is headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Wragg and Knorr reside. Speed of Wealth is based in Centennial, Colorado, and Donna McKelvy is a resident of Parker, Colorado. Wayde McKelvy resides in Sunny Isle Beach, Florida.
The Complaint alleges that Wayde and Donna McKelvy, through their Denver-based company Speed of Wealth LLC, as well as Mantria executives Wragg and Knorr, raised funds for numerous Mantria “green” initiatives such as a supposed “carbon negative” housing community in rural Tennessee and a “biochar” charcoal substitute made from organic waste. The SEC alleges that Mantria’s “green” representations were laced with bogus claims, and investors were falsely promised enormous returns on their investments ranging from 17 percent to “hundreds of percent” annually. In fact, Mantria’s environmental initiatives have not generated any significant cash, and any returns paid to investors have been funded almost exclusively from other investors’ contributions. None of the relevant offerings was registered with the Commission, nor were any of the defendants registered as a broker-dealer or associated with a registered broker-dealer.
The Complaint claims that, based on this conduct, all of the defendants violated Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Complaint also claims that Wragg, Knorr, Speed of Wealth, Wayde McKelvy, and Donna McKelvy violated Exchange Act Section 15(a). On the Commission’s motion, the Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order, Asset Freeze and Other Equitable Relief, and Order Setting Preliminary Injunction Hearing (“Order”) on November 16, 2009. Among other things, the Court’s Order froze the assets of Mantria, Wragg, Knorr, Speed of Wealth, Wayde McKelvy, and Donna McKelvy wherever located, which are derived from any investor funds obtained by the defendants in connection with the scheme alleged in the Complaint. A hearing for a preliminary injunction has been set for November 20, 2009.