U.S. Magistrate Ronald N. Boyce recommends that the federal criminal indictment against James Gary Sheets remain in effect.

Sheets, the former investments czar, was charged with 34 felony counts alleging fraud, embezzlement and interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. Prosecutors claim he bilked 75 investors in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Montana out of $1.8 million. He is scheduled for trial Feb. 21, 1989.Sheets' financial empire collapsed soon after forger Mark W. Hofmann murdered Sheets' wife, Kathleen, in 1985. Hofmann also admitted killing Sheets' former business partner, Steven F. Christensen. Hofmann is serving a life sentence.

Sheets filed a motion requesting that his indictment be dismissed on the ground that it was legally insufficient. But now Boyce has recommended that the federal judge deny the move.

"The indictment does not simply track the statutory language but provides dimension as to the (alleged) scheme and artifice, as well as representations," Boyce wrote. He added that its language is "sufficient to sustain the indictment."