No, You Can’t Even Trust The Mayor! – Update #3

Former Mayor Eric Richardson

UPDATE #3:  The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced today that it obtained federal court orders for more than $2.7 million in disgorgement and civil monetary penalties against Bentley Equities, LLC  and its principals, Christopher D. Hales and Eric A. Richardson.

On May 31, 2013, the Honorable Dee Benson of the United States District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, entered a Consent Order for Permanent Injunction against Richardson requiring him to pay $100,000 in disgorgement and a $150,000 civil monetary penalty. On May 14, 2013, Judge Benson also entered an Order that requires Hales to pay $382,080 in disgorgement and $1,146,240 in civil monetary penalties and Bentley to pay an $840,000 civil monetary penalty. That Order also permanently bans Hales and Bentley from engaging in any commodity-related activity. Continue reading “No, You Can’t Even Trust The Mayor! – Update #3”


As part of the buildup for the Utah Fraud College event a great article entitled Know Your Frenemy appeared in Utah CEO Magazine yesterday.   This is somewhat unique because unlike most of the educational efforts that target individuals, this article focuses on the harm that can come to businesses from fraud:

“Companies strive to build a trusted name and brand, and according to Hill, that sort of trust is just what perpetrators are looking to exploit. “You need a community of trusted friends in order to have affinity fraud,” he says. “All the things that make for a good community also make for affinity fraud.”
Continue reading “KNOW YOUR FRENEMIES”

PREYING ON THE FAITHFUL: Thoughts about the Salt Lake Tribune article

Tom Harvey put together a well-researched article on investment scams in Utah that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune this weekend.  I have just been reading all of the comments about it (149 so far) and aside from the usual anti-Mormon drivel that always seems to fill up the comments in any article that even remotely references the Church, it was interesting to read the comments about why the LDS Church is not participating in the “Fraud College” event that will take place in June.  One comment stated, in effect, that if the church put as much money and effort into fighting fraud among members as it does fighting gay marriage, the problem would be solved.

According to the Tribune article the church did issue a written statement insisting that “church leaders have been warning members for years about the dangers of fraud and get-rich-quick schemes. ‘These messages have been delivered over the pulpit in General Conference, in official letters from church leadership, and in articles found in official church publications.'”  Unfortunately the full statement was not quoted in the article. Continue reading “PREYING ON THE FAITHFUL: Thoughts about the Salt Lake Tribune article”