Top Ten Ways To Avoid Losing Money In A Financial Scam*

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money in back pocket

Every week Utah residents lose money by investing with friends, family or neighbors – people they knew and trusted. Investment fraud is a big problem here in Utah, largely because our close-knit communities are a prime target for “affinity fraud.” Our state has a long history of financial scams and Ponzi schemes, many of which… Read more »

FBI Article on Affinity Fraud in Utah

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fbi white collar crime offender registry

This is a re-post of a great article on the unique problem we have with affinity fraud here in Utah. This article appeared on the FBI’s website yesterday. Affinity Fraud White-Collar Criminals Use Bonds of Trust to Prey on Investors Financial fraudsters are known to be an unscrupulous lot, but it is particularly loathsome when… Read more »

The Deseret News’ Three Part Series on Affinity Fraud in Utah

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ponzi scheme hotspots in america map

My friend Dennis Romboy is a great reporter over at the Deseret News who put together a very detailed two-part story on affinity fraud that was published over the weekend. Part One of the series was called “Utah’s fraud ‘epidemic’: Victims share anger, embarrassment, hurt” and provided the details of how a number of Utahn’s… Read more »

Two Convictions in the Mathon Ponzi Scheme

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A long-running Arizona affinity-fraud case targeting members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints took an important step toward conclusion with the conviction last week of Guy Andrew Williams and his father Brent F. Williams. In 2009 the Williams were indicted on 40 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and money… Read more »

Man dupes friend, others out of more than money —

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This is a repost of a story that appeared yesterday on December 16th, 2010 @ 7:33pm By Jasen Lee SALT LAKE CITY — For much of his life, Eric Nelson had been a person who saved and planned for his family’s future. After doing so diligently for more than 20 years, he now finds… Read more »

Former Mormon Bishop and Art Collector Will Spend 12 years in Prison

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Merriman headshot

Today there was yet another article about an individual who held a position of trust in the LDS Church and used that position to commit fraud. U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger sentenced Shawn Merriman to 12½ years in federal prison this afternoon for defrauding 67 victims out of $21 million. Merriman was a Bishop in… Read more »

Why Mortgage Fraud Often Involves Affinity Fraud

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A 10-count federal indictment was unsealed by the FBI and Thursday that charges Utah resident Christopher D. Hales with mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud and with money laundering in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme. The indictment was one of many that have been investigated by Utah’s new Mortgage Fraud Task Force. According to… Read more »


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check for con men before you invest

The Utah Division of Securities has put together a great new campaign to combat affinity fraud that I just saw on a billboard near my home: The monies that the Division collects from fines are supposed to fund investor education, and past efforts to do this have been mediocre at best. I think this is… Read more »