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Ex-Cedar Hills mayor faces felony charge

Published June 27, 2012 9:31 pm

Allegations • After resigning Monday, he now is accused of bank fraud.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The former mayor of the Utah County town of Cedar Hills, who resigned his post this week, is facing a federal bank fraud charge

Eric A. Richardson, 38, resigned Monday but did not state why he was doing so. On Wednesday a felony information was filed in federal court in Salt Lake City. It alleges he defrauded HeritageWest Credit Union by helping to file a vehicle loan application containing false information with the intention of skimming off some of it for other uses.

An information generally means a defendant agreed ahead of time to plead guilty. Richardson did not return a voice mail message, and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah declined comment.

According to the information, Richardson signed a blank vehicle loan application in 2010 for $57,144.90 to purchase a 2009 Land Rover while knowing his partners would use it to falsely claim that he was earning $15,000 a month from a company he no longer was associated with. The actual sales price was less than the loan, and Richardson and the others skimmed off the difference, the information says.

Earlier this year, Richardson was 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.

Richardson's name also came up in a fraud case involving Christopher D. Hales, who is serving a 7½-year federal prison term from a separate fraud case.