A Salt Lake County man accused of defrauding more than $100,000 from private individuals and companies in Utah over a four-year period has been sentenced to pro-ba-tion and community service.
Third District Judge Judith Atherton sentenced John (Jack) T. Wignall, 65, to two zero-to-five-year and two one-to-15-year prison terms Monday. However, the judge suspended the prison terms in lieu of six years of probation, 400 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine.Wignall, who was originally charged with nine second- and third-degree felonies relating to theft and fraud, pleaded guilty in June to securities fraud and theft, third-degree felonies, and to a false or fraudulent insurance act and theft, second-degree felonies. Prosecutors dropped the rest of the charges in exchange for his plea.
According to the charges, Wignall stole more than $37,000 from a woman he had promised to marry. The woman met Wignall at her LDS ward shortly after she came to the United States from Holland in 1992.
The woman began to give Wignall money withdrawn from her bank account after he promised her a better interest rate, according to the charges. After giving him more than $4,000, Wignall told the woman not to ask what he was going to do with the money.
On one occasion, Wignall asked the woman to buy stock, but when she refused he told her that he had been betrayed by his friends and had lost millions of dollars, the charges state. He then talked the woman into buying stock for an Ogden water plant by saying "the sheik of Kuwait had come personally to Ogden to order water."
On a separate charge, Wignall is accused of soliciting donations for returning the body of a dead woman to Chile on April 1997. He collected several hundred dollars and claimed to have given the funds to the woman's bishop. However, the funds were "kept by Wignall for his personal use," the charges state.
Other allegations accuse Wignall of making several fraudulent insurance claims and of stealing more than $3,000 in unclaimed payroll checks from a company.