Three Colorado residents have been arrested and indicted in connection with an alleged scam said to have cheated 36 Colorado victims out of $2.5 million, officials said today.

Raymond P. Morris, a Denver resident, Janet L. Morris and Gregory C. Erpelding were arrested and indicted for allegedly defrauding investors in real estate and foreign currency trading schemes, John Suthers, Colorado’s attorney general, said today.

“These defendants are accused of defrauding Coloradoans out of millions of their hard earned dollars,” said Suthers. “This indictment sends a message to would-be criminals that we will not tolerate fraudulent investment schemes.”

A statewide grand jury indictment was filed Nov. 18 against Raymond Morris and his ex-wife, Janet Morris, and Gregory Erpelding, charging them with securities fraud and theft, the Attorney General said.

Raymond Morris, who was charged with 141 felony counts, was additionally charged with forgery and offering false documents for recording, according to the Attorney General.

Janet Morris was charged with 17 felony counts. Erpelding was charged with nine, the Attorney General said.

According to the indictment, Raymond P. Morris employed several schemes to defraud his investors. Among those schemes, Morris promised lots in a parcel of land he did not yet own in an area he claimed to be developing for residential use, known as “Cherry Valley Land Development,” the indictment said.

Morris failed to develop the land and investors never received title to the property for which they paid, according to the indictment.

Morris also defrauded investors by convincing them to lend money to third parties, offering promissory notes secured with forged deeds of trust to the third parties’ homes, the indictment alleged. However, the third parties were never involved in the transaction and never received any of the money, according to the indictment.

Morris also allegedly solicited and accepted investor money to trade in the foreign currency market promising substantial returns, the court document said.

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