SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors say that since he was released on bail for fraud charges, businessman Alan Dean McKee has been accused of new but similar crimes.
In charges filed Thursday in 3rd District Court, prosecutors called for McKee's $25,000 cash bail to be revoked as he faces new allegations that are "remarkably similar" to an alleged scheme that cost investors hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It is clear a pending felony case has not deterred (McKee) from committing new criminal acts," charges state. "He must be incarcerated to avoid causing the public further financial harm."
McKee, 56, of Benjamin, was ordered in June to stand trial on three counts of communications fraud and one count of engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies. Arraignment in the case is scheduled for Friday.
He was charged Thursday with communications fraud and theft, both second-degree felonies, in the new case. No hearings have been scheduled.
Prosecutors say McKee, a businessman whose company was once named Utah County Business of the Year, has sought to profit off a stretch of Utah County railroad that he does not own. The allegations date back to August 2015 and continued after McKee posted bail in February.
According to the charges, two companies, R&R Equipment and Greenbox Recycling, gave McKee checks totaling $70,000 for removing and recycling materials from the rail after McKee showed them a letter indicating he owned the stretch of railroad track.
Union Pacific Railroad discovered the theft in May and told R&R to stop removing the rail, charges state. In response, investigators say they have collected text messages and have a recorded phone call from McKee telling R&R he is resolving the issue with the railroad.
Union Pacific records show McKee has never owned the stretch of track, and checks to him have been canceled by the state, charges state.
McKee is accused in charges filed in February of attempting to get Minnesota-based Ames Construction to invest in a large industrial park in Elberta, Utah County, called the Tintic Rail Line.
Former Utah County Commissioner Gary Jay Anderson, 68, of Springville, is facing identical charges in the case and has been bound over for trial. His attorney, Nathan Crane, has claimed Anderson was also duped by McKee, investing $110,000 from his own retirement funds with the businessman, and was not complicit in the scheme.
Through letters, emails and phone calls, investigators say McKee impersonated high-ranking officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to legitimize the project, ultimately pushing Ames from 2012 to 2014 to pay out between $300,000 and $400,000 that Ames board member Mark Brennan was told would "get the project going."
McKee told Ames the project was backed by the LDS Church and Suburban Land Reserve, a real estate development arm of the church. David Cannon, vice president of Suburban Land Reserve, testified at the preliminary hearing that McKee had originally approached the firm about the Elberta project, but by mid- to late-2012, the church division told him it was no longer interested.
In February, an LDS Church spokesman called the alleged fraud a "brazen scheme."
In addition to the project near Elberta, prosecutors say McKee tried to get Brennan and fellow Benjamin resident Chet Olsen to invest in farm equipment, which he claimed was excess equipment that the LDS Church was trying to sell.
Brennan invested $250,000 for the equipment, and Olsen paid $755,000 in down payments for the equipment, according to the charges. McKee told Olsen the equipment was being sold through bankruptcy court and was tied up in legal proceedings.
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