Why Is Utah Home To So Many Ponzi Schemes?

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EDITORS NOTE: this is a repost of a story that aired on our local NPR affiliate, KUER on December 30, 2019. Doug Hronek is a client of mine who agreed to speak publicly about this experience. We have filed lawsuit against Live Abundant and its agents on behalf of Doug and a number of other… Read more »

The Growing Problem With Sales of Unregistered Securities

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Recently I have been busy working to recover losses for a large number of investors who lost money in unregistered investments offered by Woodbridge and Future Income Payments or FIP. In many cases these investments were recommended by insurance agents who were not licensed to sell securities, and did not perform adequate due-diligence on these… Read more »

Did you send me a letter? Call me!

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I know this is an unusual post but someone recently sent me a copy of an unsigned whistleblower letter to the SEC.  This post is for that person: To the person who sent me an unsigned letter involving a company with the initials TEG or EA (I don’t want to identify the company here) please… Read more »

SEC Publishes Recommendation on How Avoid Common Investment Scams in 2017

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has published its annual list of tips designed to help investors with managing their money and avoiding common scams in the New Year.  Here is the list which is published by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy: SEC INVESTOR BULLETIN: 10 INVESTMENT TIPS FOR 2017 12/27/2016 Whether you are… Read more »

UPDATE: The Shocking Story of A Small Town Fraud

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UPDATE: Yesterday United States District Judge David Sam rejected a plea deal that had been worked out between Thomas Andrews (the subject of the story below) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  According to a story in the Deseret News, Judge Sam rejected the plea deal because he believed it was too lenient.  Andrews withdrew his guilty… Read more »

Another Utah Ponzi Scheme? The SEC’s lawsuit against Marquis Properties

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Last month the Salt Lake Regional office of the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit and obtained an asset freeze against Marquis Properties, LLC, its CEO and President Chad R. Deucher, and the company’s Executive Vice President, Richard (“Rick”) Clatfelter.  In its complaint the SEC alleges that these men orchestrated a $28 million Ponzi scheme… Read more »

Mark Pugsley’s Recent Interview on Mormon Stories

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I was recently interviewed by John Dehlin who runs the “Mormon Stories” Podcast about affinity fraud in Utah.  This episode is available in audio only through John’s podcast, or you can watch the video below. Episode 606: Mormonism and the Culture of Fraud with Attorney Mark Pugsley by John Dehlin • January 1, 2016 In this episode… Read more »

The SEC’s New Whistleblower Program Has Proven to be a Game Changer

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SEC Chair Mary Jo White gave a speech at the Northwestern University School of Law on April 30, 2015 on the SEC’s new Whistleblower Program.  She called it a “game changer.”  She said that despite criticism, whistleblowers provide “an invaluable public service” the SEC increasingly sees itself as the “whistleblower’s advocate.” Whistleblower Statistics After just… Read more »

Receiverships: Recovery Can Be More than Pennies on the Dollar

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By Jared N. Parrish “Once a receiver takes over you won’t see a dime.” “The lawyers for the receiver will just take all the money and leave nothing for investors.” “Don’t file a claim because there won’t be any money available anyway.” These are some of the most common statements I hear from investors who… Read more »

UPDATE: Would you Invest in the Candwich?

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Update #3: Today Judge Clark Waddoups rejected the plea bargain that Wright had negotiated with prosecutors concluding that the deal appeared too light given the magnitude of how Wright had “intentionally deceived and misled people.” The defendant will now be forced to negotiate a new plea bargain with the U.S. Attorney’s office — or go… Read more »