Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Feds sue Cedar Hills mayor for alleged fraud
Commodities » Eric A. Richardson named for 2nd time with convicted swindler.


< Previous Page


The mayor of the city of Cedar Hills in Utah County is being sued by federal regulators for allegedly soliciting investor funds for commodities trading then fraudulently using some of it for personal expenses and doctoring accounts to cover losses.

This is the second time the name of Mayor Eric A. Richardson, 38, has come up in a fraud case along with that of Christopher D. Hales, 31, who is serving a 7½-year federal prison term from a separate mortgage and bank fraud case.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission alleges that Richardson and Hales, joint owners of a company called Bentley Equities LLC, fraudulently solicited monies from 38 clients.

Richardson and Hales took in about $2.3 million but then used $557,000 for personal expenses such as for autos, food, clothing and credit card payments, the lawsuit says. They used another $71,000 to make payments to existing clients "in the manner of a Ponzi scheme."

The two also falsely claimed that they actively managed more than$1 million in trading accounts and had made hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits with software that could guarantee successful trades, the complaint says.

In fact, it says, they never managed more than $480,000 in trading accounts at any one time and lost about $1.3 million of client funds.

"To conceal their trading losses and misappropriation, defendants issued false account statements to participants and clients by altering trading statements," the lawsuit says.

The Commodities Futures Commission alleges those activities violated various federal laws and is asking that Richardson and Hales be enjoined from future violations of federal laws, be fined an unspecified amount and ordered to disgorge monies they misused.

Richardson did not return an email and a voice mail seeking comment.

In 2010, Richardson’s name came up when Hales was indicted on fraud charges. Federal investigators said Richardson participated in four allegedly fraudulent schemes but he has not been charged.


story continues below
story continues below

According to prosecutors:

• Richardson was a "cohort" of Hales who participated in a "securities fraud scheme" that bilked a man out of $300,000 involving a nonexistent $25 million certificate of deposit.

• Hales, Richardson and another man scammed a mother and son out of $244,000 supposedly invested in computer servers with a company called PMI that could predict stock market fluctuations.

• Hales and Richardson were allegedly involved in a "car loan scheme" in which vehicle prices were inflated and excess money from loans skimmed off.

• Hales, Richardson and two others bilked a Bosnian immigrant family who spoke little English out of their home in a scheme in which the family was loaned money to meet family financial emergencies but then, despite assurances to the contrary, their house was sold out from under them.

tharvey@sltrib.com

Twitter: @TomHarveySltrib



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.