A grand jury has indicted a pair of Salt Lake businessmen accused of duping customers and evading taxes, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars.
Patrick Merrill Brody and David Eugene Ross II have been charged with committing tax fraud from 1998 to 2002, conspiring to evade taxes and money laundering, U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett L. Tolman announced Wednesday.
From 1998 to 2002, the pair ran Merrill Scott & Associates, a Salt Lake company that billed itself as a "top-flight financial services company that had existed since 1969." During that time, Brody and Ross took money from customers and circulated the money through "a maze of offshore accounts and entities only to end up paying for, among other things, Merrill Scott's payroll and overhead, risky stock investments, Patrick Brody's personal living expenses and the demands of earlier customers," according to the indictment returned Wednesday.
Brody took upward of $75,000 a month from customers, according to the indictment, and at one point, both men signed off as another company on an agreement to borrow $520,000 in order to pay for a new home for Brody.
The charges against Brody and Ross come with a possible prison term of 80 years and fines of more than $2 million.