Father, son get jail time in multimillion dollar scam

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  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    To: Third try screen name - I agree with you. It's getting to be dangerous to trust even family members with this "so-called great investments and earnings". I'm sure they have been duped and are not aware of it and want to share it with others but are blind to all the facts. My father was convinced to invest a large sum into condominiums in Hawaii - he and others were stolen from and they never received a penny and the perpetrator was a Bishop. We just have to be careful - really seriously ponder all the facts, check them yourself and pray about it. It's a shame there are people like this out there...a darn shame.

  • Old Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    Yes, sometimes high returns are signs of a scam.

    Most of the time high returns of 20% to 100% are achieved by banks.

    The average bank is turning money so often and can run a such a high leveraged point that they average 50% returns.

    Why do so many people think high returns are a scam just because a couple of unethical jokers scammed a few neighbors.

    Nobody gets rich on a 5% return.

    Invest in yourself and start your own company where 1,000% returns are common!

  • ChristoperB Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Poor example from a LDS Stake President.

  • AChapin Albany, Linn, OR
    Oct. 8, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    Them that put so much money into this were apart of the crime. The crime of greed got them.
    Never go into business with family, friends or church members if you want your money back.
    That kind of money will get a lot of people to do thing they would not normally do.
    I don't feel sorry for them that believe 18% is real. Real is 5 or 6%.
    Shalom / Aloha

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Oct. 8, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Way, way too light of a sentence. What a shame.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    Re: "I'm okay with the sentence if they actually follow through . . . and ensure every dime of the investors is paid back."

    Yeah, and if you believe that'll ever happen, I've got an opportunity to own a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to talk to you about.

    Restitution is a scam, used by scam artists, their counsel, and the courts to fool people into thinking there's more punishment out there, waiting for these miscreants when they're turned loose.

    There isn't. You can't get blood from a stone.

    If prosecutors and judges would rediscover their ethics, sentences might approach those criminals actually deserve.

    This case is just embarrassing.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    I don't know if this answers everyone's questions, but it seems that the trend is to hand out less severe punishments for non-violent crimes. Non-violent drug crimes are punished less severely than any drug crime involving violence. Stealing money with some semblance of associated violence seems to be treated much more harshly than stealing money by deception.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Such a sad, recurring cycle of "friendly crime" here in Utah. It's not as though the results of such schemes are kept secret from the public. We read about this, at least, several times every year.
    Why are people so prone to believe it will be "different and successful" for them, when this has been going on for years?

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Once again....if it sounds too good to be true, it is! These scams keep popping up, please be careful with your money.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    So... burglarize a house and get months in jail, steal millions and get 180 days?? How is this even possible. No wonder people keep doing these crimes. The payoffs can be huge, and in the off chance you get caught, you get minimal time. And I am sure there is no way these snake oil salesmen can pay all of this money back... Unless of course they start another pyramid scheme.

  • oldschooler USA, TX
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    A friend of mine attempted to rob a store but got scared at the last moment and ran, judge wanted to give him 18 years, finally got reduced to 8. And these people only 1 year? rapists 5 years and three of those on probation? Sad for our country, no wonder things are the way they are. Sad.

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    No matter how many times people are warned about investments promising a return that is too good to be true, people continue to fall for it. Why? Are people naïve or just greedy they do not notice, or choose not to notice the warning signs?

  • goodnight-goodluck S.L.C., UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    Rob someone of a few hundred dollars with a gun and go to prison for life. Steal a 1000 times the amount with a pen and get a year in the county jail.

    Is this a great country or what???

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    IMO this punishment is a bit light. Maybe we should hang out the holly and the ivy as it appears Christmas came early on this one.

  • The Solution Dayton, OH
    Oct. 8, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    We will probably see more of these "lighter" sentences in the future. The DOJ is trying to minimize prison overcrowding. They have already started with druggies. They want possession to be a small misdemeanor.

    I'm okay with the sentence if they actually follow through with these guys and ensure every dime of the investors is paid back.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    This seems like a light sentence and not nearly enough accountability. Investors should have realized that this scheme was unsustainable and risky.

    Oct. 8, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    There are guys in the Draper prison that have been there for years for stealing far, far less. This is way too light of a sentence.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 6:46 a.m.

    Perhaps crime does pay. And where did the money go? An innercity kid stealing an IPad would get this much time.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 6:29 a.m.

    I should like to know more about their restitution plan.
    Just exactly how do they plan on earning back the millions owed to the investors?
    These light sentences will not reduce affinity fraud among Latter-day Saints.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Oct. 8, 2013 4:47 a.m.

    Oh the economic illiteracy in this country (any country actually). There is no such thing as a GUARANTEED 18% return!!! I would be inclined to believe that this was just a lot of bad luck on the part of the business if not for this 18% guarantee. They were clearly going after trusting and unsophisticated investors. This was doomed from the start.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Oct. 8, 2013 4:34 a.m.

    If it sounds too good to be true.... it is.

    18%..., what more do they need, a red painted sign saying "Danger, very Risky investments ahead?"

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Oct. 8, 2013 1:46 a.m.

    180 days and 1 year? That's ALL? You spend less time in jail for ponzi scheme that robbing a bank.

    If what is written below is true, these people all completely missed the red flags.

    "The Smiths falsely told investors they were earning “100 percent on every dime they put out there,” investigators said.
    They allegedly told one investor that "if everything were cut off today, we would have enough to pay every investor back and still have $2 million left over," charging documents said."