One of three scam artists behind a $54 million ponzi scheme was sentenced to prison for her role in the biggest 'green energy' scams in US history, according to NBC New York.
35-year-old Amanda Knorr of Hellertown, Pennsylvania received just 30 months in federal prison for a ponzi scheme involving her 2005 startup, Mantria, in which "many people lost their life savings," according to assistant US Attorney Robert Livermore following Knorr's sentencing.Their pitch about producing biochar, however, turned out to be completely baked, according to prosecutors, and eventually proved to be a giant Ponzi scheme. -NBC New York
Knorr co-founded a company called Mantria Corp., which with the help of a slick-talking Colorado "wealth advisor" raised millions for a supposed clean energy product called "biochar."
Knorr and fellow Mantria co-founder Troy Wragg both graduated in 2005 from Temple University and within four years had raised $54 million from hundreds of investors. Most of the investors were wooed through seminars run by Wayde McKelvey, of Colorado.
According to federal prosecutors, Mantria never came close to producing biochar at their Tennessee facility. At seminars run by "wealth advisor" Wayde McKelvy of Colorado, investors were told a different story. "These investors, husbands and wives nearing retirement, retirees looking to invest their savings, and other small-time prospectors, were wooed by the idea of big profits from clean energy: getting rich and saving the world," according to the report.