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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…

First Ever Whistleblower Award Given to Utah Man

By Jared N. Parrish The Utah Securities Commission recently approved the first ever whistleblower award to a Utah man who provided information to the Utah Division of Securities which formed the basis of criminal charges. According to a Division of Securities press release, the Commission will pay $15,000.00 to a financial advisor in Saint George who reported a suspicious investment one of his clients had made that promised low…

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American Pension Services Lawsuit

On April 30, 2014 the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against a Utah-based company called American Pension Services, Inc. (“APS”) and alleged that the retirement plan administrator  defrauded investors.  This is not a Ponzi Scheme case (unlike many the SEC files in Utah) it is really about forgery and theft.   And it was not just any money that was stolen — APS was a third-party administrator for self-directed…

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Guest Post: An Inside Story of Utah Fraud

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by a person whose father was convicted of securities fraud in Utah.  All identifying information has been removed to protect the author’s identity.  The opinions in this post belong solely to the author.   It’s no secret that securities fraud is a mounting problem in Utah, where the faith and trust of LDS congregations is second to none. Possibly a picturesque place…