Met Life to Reimburse Scam Victims

June 22, 2000

Dennis McNerny, 53, of Williamsville and Michael Ferguson, 42, of East Amherst are awaiting trial in state Supreme Court on a 35-count indictment charging them with grand larceny, securities fraud and other fraud charges the news service reported.

The pair is accused of duping 45 investors out of $5 million between 1993 and 1998. Met Life, which was unaware of the scheme, will pay restitution to those victimized while the defendants worked for the company.

The victims, most of whom are elderly, will receive 87 percent of the money they lost when they handed over retirement savings for what turned out to be high-risk investments.

McNerney is accused of soliciting investors while working as a Met Life sales representative from December 1990 until September 1995. Ferguson, a Met Life agent from October 1988 until June 1999, allegedly received commissions from McNerney for soliciting investors for him after McNerney left Met Life, Spitzer said.

The indictment alleges that McNerney, owner of World Wide Capital Funding, bought accounts receivable at a discount from companies in exchange for an up-front fee. He raised capital to purchase the accounts by offering “joint venture agreements,” which he represented as fully secured, insured and guaranteed. However, WWCF would frequently invest in long-shot start-up companies or firms with troubled financial histories and lost much of the money.

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