ST. GEORGE — An Alpine man swindled an 88-year-old woman out of $100,000 and took money from her while she recuperated from a broken hip, investigators say.
Richard A. Loveday, 47, also told the Washington County woman that he stopped paying back her investment because he didn't know if she would live, according to documents filed in 5th District Court.
Francine Giani called the case "disgusting" and said it illustrates the need for family members and neighbors to help protect older people from scam artists.
"It's absolutely terrible," said Giani, the executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce. "Frankly, we have heard it all, but this one probably bests most of the stories that I've heard over the years."
The woman met Loveday's wife at a health expo in St. George, and in April 2013 the Lovedays showed up at her home unannounced.
Loveday, a principal in a firm named CGI Global Management, offered the woman a $70,000 investment in a pool with other investors for small loans to businesses and individuals. He promised her a 14 percent return, $875 monthly payments and a $15,000 bonus for her investment, according to court documents.
Based on his verbal assurances and without a written contract, the woman gave Loveday a $70,000 cashier's check.
Loveday, who has dual U.S/Canadian citizenship, is not licensed to sell securities, authorities said. He also failed to tell the women about pending eviction and debt collection actions against him.
Court documents show Loveday used the money for personal and family expenses and paid the woman $875 a month for three months out of her own money.
Loveday went back the woman's home in September 2013 shortly she after was released from a three-week stay in the hospital and a care center for a broken hip.
He told her she had created problems for him because "she opened her big mouth" and told an acquaintance about the investment, court documents say. He allegedly told her that the state securities division put him out of business, froze his assets and seized his money and that he needed a loan from her. He told the woman would have to rely on his church and the state to provide for his family, investigators say.
Feeling pressured and guilty, the woman wrote Loveday a $25,000 check, according to court documents. Loveday then put the woman in his car and drove her to a credit union where she withdrew $5,000 in cash for him.
While at her home that day, Loveday also told the 88-year-old woman he quit making the monthly payments to her because he didn't know whether she would live or die, court document say.
The securities division, however, did not freeze or take Loveday's assets and doesn't have the authority to do so. It had only sought his response to a complaint filed by the woman's acquaintance. Loveday told the investigator he had not taken or received any money from the woman, court documents state.
Loveday is charged with securities fraud and communications fraud, second-degree felonies, and class B misdemeanor theft. He is being held in the Washington County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bail.
"We hope this will keep him away from additional possible victims," said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. Authorities say Loveday might have made fraudulent investment offers to other Utahns, including seniors.
Giani said children need to be more involved in the lives of their aging parents. Friends and neighbors, too, need to pay more attention to older people in their communities, she said.
"We have to step up to the plate and be more conscientious and less trusting," she said.
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