Former Mormon Bishop and Art Collector Will Spend 12 years in Prison

Today there was yet another article about an individual who held a position of trust in the LDS Church and used that position to commit fraud.  U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger sentenced  Shawn Merriman to 12½ years in federal prison this afternoon for defrauding 67 victims out of $21 million.  Merriman was a Bishop in the LDS Church in Colorado and raised the money from friends, neighbors and fellow church members.  The government seized roughly $4 million in fine art , antique cars, sports memorabilia and animal trophies collected on his safari trips when they arrested him.

One of my favorite parts of this story is the fact that before he was caught Mr. Merriman put together some sort of a traveling exhibit for his art called “The Renaissance of Faith in Art,” which included about two hundred prints by Renaissance artists including Rembrandt van Rijn, Albrecht Durer, Lucas van Leyden and Peter Paul Rubens.  The exhibit was primarily displayed in LDS wards and stake centers in Denver.  Even the Mormon Times wrote a glowing article about this guy and how his art collection promotes the Church.  He has now been excommunicated.

The SEC’s Complaint against Mr. Merriman can be read here.

Copyright © 2010 by Mark W. Pugsley. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “Former Mormon Bishop and Art Collector Will Spend 12 years in Prison

    1. maby an investigation did happen but what happened to the money that he was supposed to pay the inmates they conned into letting them get, then pay upon receivable. my family sent 150 pc. collection to the Bishop and was supposed to have 100 hard back books and a payment of $1,000.00/picture. That collection took 20 years of the convicts life to produce. it was what he planned for a restart and to take care of his family and on and on. He got out, and he paid the $57,000.00 in bad check restitution but cancer and heart conditions will probally end his life this year. Evertbody still talks about the x-con becoming repeat offenders,but this one has been the best dad for 4 years and completely lost because the system never helps the x-con who got screwed. I know alot more about how those two, especally another Bishop have taken advantage of convicts and lived lives as celebrated citizens, yet, those whom pay, make restitution and amends don’t have a chance to get whats owed them.

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