A federal judge in Denver has ordered a group of executives sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to pay more than $135 million for allegedly setting up a phony investment scheme involving purportedly “green” properties.

U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello issued final default judgments on September 13 against Wayde and Donna McKelvy, who operated the Denver company Speed of Wealth, the SEC announced on September 18. According to court records, Arguello also entered default judgments against Troy Wragg and Amanda Knorr, principals in Philadelphia’s Mantria Corp., which was implicated in the scheme.

The SEC accused the defendants in 2009 of creating a Ponzi scheme that promised investment returns ranging from 17 percent to more than 100 percent from a planned “carbon negative” housing community. The defendants told investors that the community would use a charcoal substitute made from organic waste called “biochar,” the SEC alleged.

The attorney listed in court records for Knorr and Wragg was Steven Feder of Denver’s Feder Law Firm. He did not respond to a message seeking comment. Attorney names for the McKelvys were not available.

Contact Leigh Jones at ljones@alm.com.