MONTGOMERY COUNTY. When accused schemers Troy Wragg and Amanda Knorr spoke to potential investors about opportunities to buy into their company, they allegedly preyed on victims’ “green” side.
Wragg, 28, and Knorr, 26, allegedly promised that their mostly senior victims’ $30 million in retirement money would go toward green technologies and a cleaner planet.
Instead, their plans have made little profit, and they admitted to the SEC that they lied about supposed profits to investors, according to a civil complaint filed Monday.
Compassion for the earth, apparently, has become another way for devious people to make money.
“We’re seeing the greening of America ... and the large residue of good will with it where people willing to spend offers opportunity for fraud,” said Joseph Otis Minott of the Pennsylvania Clean Air Council.
“People are willing to pay money to do the right thing and there will be criminal entrepreneurs.”
A local green investor, who once briefly met with Mantria to hear their proposal for “biochar,” said investors interested in saving the planet along with making money still have to follow basic rules.
“It’s great that people want to invest with a purpose, but at end of day, it’s still about sound fundamentals of investing,” said Joyce Ferris, founder of Blue Hill.