After hearing the convoluted details of a convicted con man's past, a federal magistrate judge has ruled he will remain in federal custody pending trial on new fraud charges, after prosecutors said there was evidence he faked his employment at a construction company to his parole officer while working on a new scam.
During a hearing Wednesday, a federal prosecutor said there was also evidence that Wayne Reed Ogden was using money from recent investors to pay some $7 million in restitution to his old investment victims.
Ogden was convicted in 1998 of bilking 500 investors, mostly friends and neighbors, of an estimated $7 million in a Ponzi scheme. He was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
But after his first parole in November 2000, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells noted Ogden had a "complicated" history of being paroled and hauled back in twice for parole violations. In between, Ogden was accused of misconduct.
The prosecution called an FBI agent and Ogden's former state parole officer as witnesses.
Parole officer Paul Truelson said that after Ogden was paroled in 2000, he was instructed to get a job that did not involve handling other people's money.
Truelson said Ogden provided the Utah Department of Adult Probation and Parole documentation that he had been hired by a construction company and that he would work as a construction foreman on a project in Colorado. Ogden was even given several travel permits to travel out of state to Colorado for his supposed job.
It wasn't until later that parole officers discovered Ogden's employment papers were bogus.
FBI special agent Jeffrey Cannon said his office discovered Ogden and his brother were involved in a credit counseling company, where Ogden again began soliciting investors to purchase property in Colorado. After getting several million dollars, investors soon began expecting the 50- to 100-percent returns that Ogden had promised them. Frustrated investors filed suits against Ogden, suing him for $9 million.
Ogden's defense attorney, Mary Corporon, said her client claims there was even a kidnapping incident by disgruntled investors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Loren Washburn said while Ogden was working up another Ponzi scheme, he was taking money from recent investors and using it to pay off the $7 million in restitution he was ordered to pay the victims of his old scam.
"He's stealing from new victims in order to pay restitution," Washburn said in court.
Corporon responded that before his previous conviction, Ogden had no prior criminal record and that he has always had a history of showing up to court for hearings.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Wells said she did not find Ogden to be a flight risk but did find that he is a danger to the community. Although Ogden is not accused of violence or drugs, Wells did note that he has proven he is not willing to follow court orders while on parole and could prove a danger to people in the community and their money.Ogden faces several counts of mail fraud and wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
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