Yesterday William J. Hammons, 66, was convicted of seven of nine criminal charges by a jury in St. George, Utah. Hammons was one of the largest finders or feeders of investors to Val Southwick and his company VesCor, which is now known as the largest Ponzi scheme in Utah history. He recommended the investment to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Las Vegas, where Hammons served as a bishop, and in St. George, Utah. The St. George investors included neighbors, church members, Hammons’ partner and his parents-in-law. What he did not tell these people was that in exchange for these referrals he received substantial “referral fees” or commissions from Val Southwick.
In his defense, one of the Fresno defense attorney, Clifford Dunn tried to convince the jury that Mr. Hammons was just an innocent bystander. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Hammons testified “that he was unaware that VesCor was a fraud, that he didn’t seek out investors and never officially worked for the company. Instead, he cast himself as just another investor who was paid only referral fees.” Continue reading “The Dangers of Being a “Finder” – Another Conviction in the VesCor Ponzi Scheme”