I previously wrote about the SEC’s lawsuit against Chad Deucher of Orem, Utah. As is often the case, the criminal authorities have now brought separate criminal charges against him in connection with the alleged $28 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 250 investors throughout the United States. Yesterday the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah announced that it has obtained a criminal indictment against him charging 18 counts of wire fraud and one count of fraud in connection with the purchase and sale of securities.
Prosecutors alleged that Deucher used direct solicitations, radio advertisements, a website, and real estate and retirement seminars, among other things, to find investors for three types of investments offered through his company. The investment options included turnkey cash flow real estate investments, promissory notes secured by real properties, and joint ventures.
The indictment alleges that Deucher made oral and written misrepresentations about the investments in communications with potential investors. He represented that Marquis located, purchased, renovated and sold single family and small, multi-family homes in lucrative areas of the country. Deucher told investors that Marquis retained renovation crews, property managers and realtors on the ground to assist with all stages of the projects, eliminating the need for direct involvement. According to the indictment, Deucher represented that investors could earn a significant return on their investments. Some investors were promised approximately 8 percent per year for three years, while others were promised 16 percent to 22 percent over an investment period of about one year when rental income was considered. Later in the scheme, according to the indictment, some investors were promised 12 percent to 18 percent for a period of about two weeks to around two months, or 10 percent for investments of about two to six weeks. In truth, the indictment alleges, Deucher tailored the terms of return based on his need for money and what he believed would induce the investor to invest in his company.
According to the indictment, Deucher failed to disclose to investors that the property Marquis offered as collateral were not owned by the company, were substantially encumbered, or were in uninhabitable or blighted condition. He also did not disclose that Marquis was insolvent, the indictment alleges, and was unable to make interest and principal payments to investors and that investor returns were being paid from the funds of new investors. Deucher also allegedly failed to disclose that the securities he offered were not registered and that he was not registered or associated with a securities broker or dealer, all required by law, the indictment alleges. The indictment also alleges that Deucher transferred several million of dollars of investor money from business accounts he controlled for his own business and personal interests unrelated to the acquisition or rehabilitation of real property.
The potential maximum penalty for each of the 19 counts in the indictment is 20 years in federal prison. The potential fine for the securities fraud count is $5 million. Each wire fraud count has a potential $250,000 fine. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City and investigated by FBI special agents. The Orem Police Department and investigators with the Utah County Attorney’s Office also participated in the investigation.
If you are a victim of the Marquis Properties Ponzi scheme please contact us, and feel free to tell your story in the comments below.
Copyright © 2016 by Mark W. Pugsley. All rights reserved.