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Utah makes first whistleblower award

Published May 22, 2014 5:19 pm

Fraud monitoring • Financial adviser gets $15K for reporting suspicious activity.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A state commission has approved its first whistleblower award under a law that passed the Utah Legislature in 2011.

The Utah Securities Commission approved a $15,000 award to St. George financial adviser LaMond Syphus.

Syphus told Utah Securities Division investigators that a recent widow had told him she had given $100,000 to Canadian citizen Richard Loveday.

Loveday told her he would invest her money in a safe place with high returns, but instead spent her money on personal expenses, according to a Department of Commerce news release. Loveday is facing felony criminal charges for alleged securities fraud.

"We rely on our securities licensees statewide as the first line of defense in assisting the Division of Securities in their fight against financial fraud," Erik A. Christiansen, chairman of the Utah Securities Commission, said in a news release. "Our hope is that this financial incentive encourages others to come forward and report financial crime when it occurs in Utah."

The Securities Fraud Reporting Program Act created awards for people who provide information to the Division of Securities that leads to a successful enforcement action. If the action leads to the collection of sanctions over $50,000, the informant may be entitled to a reward of up to 30 percent of the amount collected.