FRUIT HEIGHTS — A Fruit Heights man has been accused of defrauding investors across the country of more than $72 million in a Ponzi scheme.

Dee Allen Randall, 63, was charged in 3rd District Court on Wednesday with 21 counts of securities fraud and one count of a pattern of unlawful activity, second-degree felonies, as well as one third-degree felony count of securities fraud.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said Wednesday that Utahns are extremely vulnerable to fraud, especially affinity fraud.

In response, the attorney general's office has added a markets and financial fraud division to "battle individuals and companies engaged in fraud," Reyes said.

Over two years, Randall allegedly used investments from about 700 people from across the country to pay for other entities he controlled and to pay off other investors, according the Utah Attorney General's Office. He did not disclose to investors that sizeable judgements had been issued against him and that he had filed for personal bankruptcy.

The scheme was one of the largest to come out of Utah, according to the attorney general's office.