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 »

Chad Deucher of Marquis Properties Has Been Indicted.

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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… Read more »

UPDATE on the Fraud Case Against Roger Bliss of Bountiful, Utah

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I previously wrote about the numerous red flags that were raised by the investment pitch given by Roger Bliss in Bountiful, Utah. That post has generated a significant number of comments and interest, so I thought an update would be appropriate. This was a fairly unusual case involving  cooperation between multiple state and federal agencies.  The interrelated state… 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 »

Another Utah Ponzi Scheme? The SEC’s lawsuit against Marquis Properties

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Last month the Salt Lake Regional office of the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit and obtained an asset freeze against Marquis Properties, LLC, its CEO and President Chad R. Deucher, and the company’s Executive Vice President, Richard (“Rick”) Clatfelter.  In its complaint the SEC alleges that these men orchestrated a $28 million Ponzi scheme… Read more »

NPR’s Planet Money Podcast: Episode 680: Anatomy Of A Scam

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You’ve seen these ads before: “Work from home. Make thousands of dollars a week. Call this number!” On this show, Planet Money’s team finds out what happens when you respond. It’s the story of a scam that will not die. This episode has secret documents laying out how it all works and recordings of actual… 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 »

Whistleblower Claims under the Dodd-Frank Act

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This is a repost of an article by Jennifer Korb that appeared in the Utah Bar Journal: Whistleblower Claims under the Dodd-Frank Act: Highlights from the SEC’s Annual Report to Congress for the 2014 Fiscal Year On November 17, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (referred to herein as the SEC or the Commission) issued… Read more »