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How an Employment Agreement Can Get you In Hot Water With the SEC

I don’t usually give employment advice, but the SEC this week announced a settlement with KBR, Inc. that should prompt every company to check its employee agreements. Even fairly innocuous confidentiality language that might seem unobjectionable to some could lead to an SEC enforcement action under the SEC’s interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd Frank”). Congress enacted Dodd Frank on July 21, 2010 and…

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Four tips to avoid getting fleeced by your broker

This is a brief but helpful article from the Associated Press that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune today.  I would add that although the majority of stock brokers are honest and straightforward, there are some out there who are not so it pays to do your homework online before you hire someone to manage your accounts.  And always make sure you understand what fees and commissions you will…

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Former American Pension Services CEO Curtis DeYoung Has Been Indicted

The former president and CEO of American Pension Services, Curtis L. DeYoung, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on 15 charges of mail fraud.  Each of these counts carries a possible 20-year prison term and a fine of $250,000.  According to a press release by the United States Attorney’s Office for Utah, the indictment alleges DeYoung misappropriated more than $24 million from the accounts of more than 5,000 customers…

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5 ways fraudsters trick investors

This is a repost of an article by Matt Egan that appeared on CNN Money last week. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Fraudsters use sleights of hand and other trickery that even magicians would be envious of.  Americans lose an estimated $50 billion a year to fraud, including Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and other types of investment fraud. “People fall for fraud because fraudsters are that good with special effects. It seems that real,” Michael…

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Scamworld: ‘Get rich quick’ schemes mutate into an online monster

This is a repost of an interesting article about online scams and get rich quick schemes I saw on The Verge. A network of pitchmen have used the internet and fear of a failing economy to play the ultimate long con By Joseph L. Flatley on May 10, 2012 10:32 am102 On a warm summer day in 2002, in Charlevoix, Michigan, Richard Joseph’s bad luck began. The lawyer, husband, and father of…

UPDATE: Robert Holloway Convicted of Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion

UPDATE: After several years of litigation the Robert Holloway case finally went to a jury yesterday after a week long trial in before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby.  As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, the jury found him guilty on on five charges, including four counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.  Judge Shelby set Holloway’s sentencing hearing for Oct. 20 and…

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Repost: Affinity fraud continues to plague Utahns and Mormons

This is a great article by Donovan C. Baltich that appeared on July 16, 2014 in BYU’s newspaper The Daily Universe: The case of a Davis County man wanted for an alleged scheme that officials say took the life savings of Utah residents and brought in tens of millions of dollars shows the vulnerability of Utahns to financial scams. The 63-year-old suspect, set for an initial court hearing in July in…

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TOP TEN WAYS TO AVOID LOSING MONEY IN A FINANCIAL SCAM*

Every week Utah residents lose money by investing with friends, family or neighbors – people they knew and trusted. Investment fraud is a big problem here in Utah, largely because our close-knit communities are a prime target for “affinity fraud.”  Our state has a long history of financial scams and Ponzi schemes, many of which have been perpetrated by members of the LDS church on members of their ward…

SEC Releases New Alert on Affinity Fraud

Below is a new release from the Securities and Exchange Commission on affinity fraud: Affinity Fraud:How To Avoid Investment Scams That Target Groups What is an Affinity Fraud? Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or pretend to be – members of the…

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UPDATE: Criminal Charges Against Rick Koerber Dismissed

UPDATE:  Five years after the initial indictment charging Rick Koerber with one of the biggest financial frauds in Utah history, last week United States District Court Judge  Clark Waddoups ruled that he will dismiss the case because federal prosecutors failed to follow speedy trial requirements.  This is a blow to the U.S. Attorneys Office’s efforts to prosecute Mr. Koerber, not to mention all of the hundreds of victims who were…