SALT LAKE CITY — Two brothers have been arraigned on fraud charges in their failed effort to turn a southern Utah ski area into an exclusive members-only resort.
Marc and Stephen Jenson pleaded not guilty in 3rd District Court to money laundering and fraud charges. The charges stem from their efforts to turn the Mount Holly ski area into a gated resort they named the Mount Holly Club.
Marc Jenson is accused of failing to disclose his checkered past and bankruptcy to investors. He is being held in Beaver County Jail for failing to pay $4 million to victims of an earlier fraud. His lawyer, Brent Burningham, said he withdrew Monday because he wasn't getting paid and that Marc Jenson will get a public defender.
The Jensons say their legitimate business efforts were defeated when a big investor dropped out.
The ski area sits inside a national forest under 12,000-foot Mount Holly, 18 miles east of Beaver.
At one point, the Jensons were promoting a $3.5 billion development plan with a Jack Nicklaus-commissioned golf course, on a scale dwarfing the total property value of rural Beaver County by seven times. To join the club, buyers would have had to pay a one-time $250,000 fee and dues of $10,000 a year plus millions of dollars for a mountain home.
Prosecutors have accused the brothers of shuttling investor funds they raised among various accounts.
The Mount Holly ski area has been rebranded as Eagle Point by managers of a hedge fund that had a stake in the resort and took it over two years ago.
The new operators of the remote ski area say they're having their best winter. Before they took it over, the ski area had been closed for eight years.