An employee of the Pension Co., partly owned by J. Gary Sheets, testified Wednesday that the company's clients frequently signed blank withdrawal slips so their money could be quickly placed into investments.
Allyn Orme spoke in Sheets' defense. Sheets is charged with 34 counts of fraud, theft from pension funds and transportation of money obtained by fraud.Orme said clients, including members of the famous Osmond family, would sign up with the company. Money from their pensions would then be placed into investments. He specifically recalled meeting Marie Osmond during the sign-up session.
"I remember she was wearing a gorgeous fur coat . . . Gary (Sheets) brought them down to us on the second floor," of the CFS building. He said he, Osmond and others went into the offices of the president of the Pension Co. and discussed the company's services "and how they would relate to Marie's plan, and proceeded to fill out the sign-up documents."
Reports were mailed or delivered to clients or their employees on a quarterly basis, listing the transactions involving their pension plans, he said.
He said the prudent thing was to put money into investments, rather than just letting it remain in a bank account. When it was to be withdrawn from a savings account at First Security Bank, one of the signed withdrawal slips would be filled out with the date and amount. That was more convenient than having clients go to the bank in person, as some lived in Nevada, Wyoming or Montana and the Osmonds were frequently on the road performing, he said.
Defense lawyer Peter Stirba asked him whether Sheets ever told him to conceal any transaction or conduct transactions that weren't authorized, and Orme replied, "No."
Under cross examination by assistant U.S. Attorney Tena Campbell, he acknowledged that the company never made a profit in the year it was in business, 1985. But he said it paid its bills because it was always subsidized by another Sheet's organization, J. Gary Sheets and Associates.