He ran an investment firm in Virginia Beach, but feds say he bilked millions from clients

A Chesterfield man who owned and operated an investment firm in Virginia Beach is headed to prison.

Edward Lee Moody, Jr., 47, was sentenced Tuesday to 13 years in prison for mail fraud and engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property.

In addition to the prison sentence, Moody was ordered to pay more than $4.8 million in restitution to his victims, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the eastern District of Virginia.

According to court documents, Moody was a registered investment adviser and the sole owner and operator of CM Capital Management LLC, an investment firm with its principal office located in Virginia Beach.

Moody solicited investors on the basis of his representation that “he would profitably invest their assets in securities on their behalf and manage those investments on an ongoing basis,” federal prosecutors said.

In reality, prosecutors said he ran a Ponzi scheme over a 13-year period, during which he solicited and collected approximately $6.1 million from 53 investors, at least 13 of whom were elderly who liquidated assets from their existing, legitimate retirement accounts in order to provide funds to him that they expected he would invest on their behalf.

In most instances, Moody did not manage the accounts of the investors or buy or sell securities on their behalf, and did not even open individual brokerage accounts for them.

Instead, Moody “diverted investor monies for his personal benefit and to enrich himself, using at least $1.4 million for business expenses, to purchase a home, make car loan payments, shop, travel to Las Vegas and other destinations,” prosecutors said.

He also used approximately $885,000 of investor money to buy and sell securities on his own behalf.

Moody perpetuated the scheme by using approximately $1.5 million that he received from new investors to make periodic lulling payments to earlier investors, and he provided investors with fake monthly account statements that falsely indicated that the investors’ funds had been invested in securities and had earned returns, according to court documents.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.