I recently received an anonymous tip telling me that Jeffrey Lane Mowen, formerly of Lindon, Utah, has been released from prison. I checked the Bureau of Prisons website and sure enough, he was released on January 12, 2018 and is now presumably at large in the community, so watch out Utah County!
Mowen was sentenced to ten years, but it’s not unusual for white-collar prisoners to be released early to make room for violent prisoners. Regardless, this is not someone who I would recommend doing business with. If you would like to know more about this case and the criminal charges he pleaded guilty to you can read my prior posts about the case here.
The press release and complaint the SEC filed against him in September of 2009 can be found here, and the Daily Herald’s article about his plea deal can be found here.
One of the more interesting things about this case is that rather than investing the victims’ money as represented, Mowen used about $6 million of investor monies to purchase over 200 antique, classic and muscle vehicles which he kept in a warehouse in Bountiful. The collection included cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles and three-wheelers, most of which were auctioned off in 2010. You can see some photos of the totally random assortment of cars that they auctioned off in this article from the Deseret News. As one observer told the paper, “It’s just a bizarre collection. There’s a lot of junk in there.”
Hopefully his taste in automobiles has improved during the time he spent in the federal penitentiary.
John Zane Jeppesen of Garland, Utah is probably not someone you want to invest your money with.
In 1999, Jeppesen entered into an agreement with the Idaho Securities Bureau, under which he admitted to violations of registration, licensing and anti-fraud provisions and was ordered to pay outstanding principal and interest to Idaho investors.
In 2003 Lehman Brothers Bank filed a $58 million dollar lawsuit against Jeppesen’s company Beverly Hills Development and others in California alleging it was involved in a massive real estate loan fraud scheme occurring over a three-year period through forgery, identity theft, misrepresentations, fraudulent loan documents, wire fraud, and the illegal laundering of funds.
In 2005 the Utah Division of Securities charged Jeppesen with raising approximately $8 million dollars for a company called Beverly Hills Development Corporation from 134 Utah investors though unsecured promissory notes. He settled that case, but the conduct didn’t stop.
In April of 2016 he was charged by state prosecutors in the Attorney General’s office with 11 criminal counts including securities fraud, theft and one count of pattern of unlawful activity for running a real estate scheme.
In September of 2016 the Utah Division of Securities filed another Order to Show Cause against him that included 8 causes of action including securities fraud, unlicensed selling of securities and “willful violation” of the prior 2005 Consent Order with the Division involving strikingly similar conduct.
Despite all that history of fraudulent activity, much of which he admitted, Third District Court Judge Royal Hansen sentenced Jeppesen to just 30 days in jail after he pled guilty to one count of felony pattern of unlawful activity. Presumably when he gets out of prison he will start paying back his investors, and in fact Just Hansen stated that was his intent in keeping the sentence reasonably short. When Jeppesen’s 30 days is served, he has six months to pay back the victims or he’ll return to jail to serve 11 more months. Hopefully that will provide the necessary incentive to get everyone repaid!
As detailed in the Tremonton Leader, Jeppesen originally faced eleven counts of securities fraud, two counts of theft and one count of patterns of unlawful activity, all second degree felonies as a result of his alleged role in a real estate investment scheme that has left six known victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The linked articles by reporter Cari Doutre in the Tremonton Leader contain a lot of great detail about his conduct, and the heartbreaking testimony from his victims at the sentencing hearing.
I will interested to see whether he will be able to get his victims repaid after he gets out of prison. If you are a victim of one of Mr. Jeppeson’s scams please share your story in the comments below.