A former Salt Lake attorney has been charged with several felony fraud counts, accused of taking part in a Wendover, Nev., casino/hotel scam.
Francis C. Lund, 67, was charged Wednesday in 3rd Circuit Court with 21 counts of securities fraud and six counts of tax evasion following a Utah attorney general's probe.Lund has faced similar charges.
He was convicted of eight counts of securities fraud Jan. 22, 1975, and was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for his part in a coal mining scheme. He was later paroled.
Wednesday's charges stem from an operation that spanned seven years and bilked $163,000 from 13 individuals and one Salt Lake glass business, according to court documents.
Investors were promised a share in a casino/hotel to be built on the west end of Wendover, Nev., and an equity interest in the Las Vegas Marina Hotel.
Lund told people - some who spent as much as $60,000 - that he was an attorney for several casinos in Las Vegas and "would not have any problem at all securing a gaming license (for the Wendover casino)," the documents said.
Lund was admitted to the Utah State Bar Dec. 11, 1950, but was suspended from practicing law 25 years later after he was convicted of securities fraud. He was not licensed to practice law in Nevada.
Investors were also told that financing was approved for the construction of the casino/hotel. But the money for the building never materialized.
Investigators charge that Lund told his victims he had "put from $300,000 to $500,000 of his own money into the project - which was not true."
Research conducted by the Utah State Tax Commission revealed that Lund didn't file a Utah state tax return or extension for 1985 through 1990, the documents also charge.
In Lund's 1975 conviction, a federal grand jury charged that he and two other Utahns sold stock for Rio do Oro Mining Co., a New Mexico corporation that had offices in Salt Lake City. The indictment handed up by the jury stated that false statements were made about the company's Red Creek Mine in Duchesne County.
According to Deseret News files, he and the two others were also charged with causing a Dallas mortgage company to send Rio a letter that indicated the mortgage company would consider financing a $120 million power plant on the Duchesne County property. "But in truth the defendants never seriously intended to build such a plant nor obtain such financing," the U.S. attorney's office added.
Lund is scheduled to appear in 3rd Circuit Court on May 7.