A Utah man agreed to plead
guilty for his involvement in two separate Ponzi schemes - while on parole
for a previous conviction for a third Ponzi scheme - that took in more than $30
million from investors. Wayne Ogden, of Koosharem, Utah, was convicted
earlier this year for his role in one of the Ponzi schemes, and in a deal with
authorities, agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of
securities fraud in exchange for a recommended 10-year sentence to be served
concurrently in both cases. As part of the deal, Ogden will also agree to
an order of restitution exceeding $3 million for each scheme.
Ogden was originally indicted in December 2007 for
running a real estate Ponzi scheme in Kiowa, Colorado, where investors were
promised returns as high as 100% from the development of a 360-acre parcel of
land. However, while awaiting trial on those charges, Ogden was charged
with concocting a separate Ponzi scheme that solicited underwater homeowners to
provide assistance with refinancing and restructuring mortgages. Ogden's
company, Paradigm Acceptance LLC ("Paradigm"), promised short-term
returns ranging from 20% to 100%, assuring investors their money was secured by
property. In total, Paradigm raised more than $29 million from investors.
However, each venture was nothing more than an elaborate
Ponzi scheme where new investor funds were used to pay older investors, thus
creating the appearance of a successful operation. Of the $29 million
Ogden raised from Paradigm investors, nearly $23 million was paid back to older
investors, and nearly $2 million was paid in salaries to Ogden and his brother.
Not surprisingly, at the time Ogden began soliciting
investors for his first scheme, he was on parole for a $7 million Ponzi scheme
he operated from 1995 to 1997 that ultimately netted him a 15-year prison
sentence. However, he was paroled after just 28 months,
Ogden was convicted of yet another similar scheme during
the mid-1990's when five hundred investors lost approximately $7 million.
He was sentenced to two consecutive terms of up to fifteen years, but was
paroled after serving 28 months.
For more news and analysis of Ponzi schemes, visit
Ponzitracker, a blog by Jordan Maglich, an attorney at Wiand Guerra King P.L.
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