A Salt Lake attorney who co-founded a now-defunct investment company faces arraignment in 3rd District Court on 53 counts of selling unregistered securities.

Richard Ames Higgins, 40, is named in a criminal complaint filed by the attorney general's office.

The complaint charges Higgins with selling more than $315,000 in unregistered securities while he was board chairman and co-owner of Properties Limited Inc., which existed between 1979 and 1983.

Higgins, a local attorney, appeared Monday before 5th Circuit Judge Dennis M. Fuchs and waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges, which carry a possible three-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.

Fuchs ordered the case bound over for trial in the district court. Higgins was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail then released under the supervision of Pretrial Services.

Higgins is charged with persuading nine people to invest more than $315,000 in partnerships and funds that were not registered with the state of Utah.