Another Case Where Investors Should Have Googled Her Name

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This is a story that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday.  As I have said before, many of these fraudsters are serial offenders.  They get out of prison and quickly get back into the business of soliciting investments from innocent investors.  So please do your homework before giving anyone your hard earned money.  In this… Read more »

Why Do Utahns Take Such Extreme Risks in Investments?

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The editorial board of the Salt Lake Tribune recently wrote an editorial titled “Gambling-averse Utahns take wild investment bets” (reproduced below) which asks why Utahns, who are always talking about the evils of gambling, so often fall prey to the pitches of con-men who promise outrageously high returns with significant risk.  Isn’t an investment that promises… Read more »

The Steven B. Heinz Ponzi Scheme

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Today I realized that I never posted about the case against Steven B. Heinz.  Please accept my apologies for this oversight, as this is a story that fits the purposes of this blog perfectly.  Heinz solicited his clients at his brokerage firm, Ogilvie Security Advisors Corporation, and used his membership in the Mormon Church to gain trust with… 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 »

Why Were So Many Madoff Victims Jewish?

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This is a repost of an article by Harold Pollack that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly this week.  This has lots of relevance to the issues we deal with here in Utah; insular religious communities are a real hotbed for affinity fraud.  In fact, there is a reference to Utah’s unique affinity fraud problem and a… Read more »

Red Flags Galore: The SEC Sues Roger Bliss of Bountiful, Utah for Fraud

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There is a relatively new SEC case that definitely needs to be added to my growing list of Utah affinity fraud schemes.  On February 11, 2015, the Salt Lake City office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order against Roger S. Bliss of Bountiful Utah. This case has all… Read more »

The SEC says Utah investors are too trusting

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This article by Caleb Larkin appeared in the Ogden Standard Examiner on June 8, 2015: SALT LAKE CITY – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Salt Lake City reports Utahns tend to invest in Ponzi and other financial fraud schemes at a higher rate than most states. The SEC has 12 office locations nationwide that cover… Read more »

Repost: Affinity fraud continues to plague Utahns and Mormons

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This is a great article by Donovan C. Baltich that appeared on July 16, 2014 in BYU’s newspaper The Daily Universe: The case of a Davis County man wanted for an alleged scheme that officials say took the life savings of Utah residents and brought in tens of millions of dollars shows the vulnerability of Utahns to… Read more »

UPDATE: Criminal Charges Against Rick Koerber Dismissed

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UPDATE:  Five years after the initial indictment charging Rick Koerber with one of the biggest financial frauds in Utah history, last week United States District Court Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that he will dismiss the case because federal prosecutors failed to follow speedy trial requirements. This is a blow to the U.S. Attorneys Office’s efforts to prosecute… Read more »

Guest Post: An Inside Story of Utah Fraud

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by a person whose father was convicted of securities fraud in Utah.  All identifying information has been removed to protect the author’s identity.  The opinions in this post belong solely to the author. It’s no secret that securities fraud is a mounting problem in Utah, where the faith… Read more »