MONTGOMERY COUNTY. Two former Temple University students were charged in a $30 million Ponzi scheme along with two “wealth-building” consultants for allegedly luring people to invest their retirement savings in supposed “carbon-negative” housing and other green measures.
Troy Wragg, 28, and Amanda Knorr, 26, of Philadelphia, and two Denver residents, allegedly used Wragg’s Bala Cynwyd-based Mantria Corp. to promise enormous annual returns of 17 percent to “hundreds of percent” on overhyped green investments.
Mantria Corp. boasted of plans to build the world’s first “carbon-negative” housing community, but the project in Tennessee has gone nowhere, officials there said. Money taken in from investors for the housing projects and for other eco-projects was used to repay earlier investors, the SEC said.
“These promoters fraudulently exaggerated Mantria’s green initiatives …,” said Don Hoerl of the SEC’s Denver office. “In reality, the only green these promoters seemed interested in was investors’ money.”
Wragg and Knorr, Mantria’s COO, could not be reached for comment at their Bala Cynwyd office and their lawyer didn’t return a call for comment.
On his Web site, Wragg says that he was homeless as a child, while Knorr says she worked under her disabled older sister’s name starting at age 11 to take care of her and her “disabled mother.”