A Utah man already facing trial on charges of running a small Ponzi scheme has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a second alleged scam, this one taking in $29 million in investor monies.
Wayne R. Ogden, 47, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on six charges of wire fraud and one of securities fraud. Previously, he had been charged in December 2007 with 15 counts of wire and mail fraud.
Ogden and his brother, Terry, were indicted for their operation of Paradigm Acceptance LLC, a company that allegedly told investors it made money by paying off the debt of distressed homeowners and then helping them renegotiate a mortgage at a lower rate.
Paradigm was paid a $1,500 fee by the homeowners, plus an additional amount, depending on how much it helped save by renegotiating debts and refinancing mortgages, the indictment said.
The Ogdens allegedly told investors their money was secured by property, and they typically promised returns of 20 percent in two months.
But in fact, according to the indictment, Paradigm was operated as a Ponzi scheme in which money from new investors went to pay initial investors to make it appear the business was making money so more investors could be recruited. The Ogdens actually lost $2.7 million operating Paradigm in 2005 and 2006, but still made payments to investors of more than $23 million, the charges allege.
In addition, the two paid themselves almost $2 million, according to the indictment.
Wayne Ogden was convicted of theft by deception and money laundering in 1997, and one of the conditions of his parole was that he not solicit investments or engage in activity related to financial products. Terry Ogden was the owner of Paradigm Investments, but Wayne Ogden made the day-to-day decisions, the government alleges.
Wayne Ogden's attorney, Mary Corporon, declined comment on the new indictment.
On June 13, Wayne Ogden backed out of plea deal with federal prosecutors stemming from the 2007 charges.
He faces trial in that case for alleged misuse of $1.74 million of investors' funds. The money allegedly was supposed to go toward 360 acres of mostly undeveloped land near Kiowa, Colo., about 25 miles southwest of Denver.
The indictment says that in 2002, Ogden promised investors returns of up to 100 percent for the real estate project, but then diverted funds for personal use and to make payments to other investors. He also allegedly falsified documents, including deeds of trust and loan documents.
Wayne Ogden was convicted of a similar scheme when he defrauded 500 investors many of them friends of the former South Ogden Eagle Scout out of an estimated $7 million in a Ponzi scheme between 1995 and 1997.
He reached an agreement with Weber County prosecutors in 1998 in which he pleaded guilty to four charges and was sentenced to two consecutive terms of up to 15 years in prison.
Ogden was paroled in November 2000 after serving 28 months but was sent back to prison on a parole violation in September 2003. He has been free while awaiting trial in the first federal case.