Man pleads guilty to defrauding Trolley Square widow
A South Jordan man accused of swindling a Trolley Square widow out of $250,000 from her husband's life insurance policy has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and repaid the widow.
Jason Kim Brown, 43, will be on probation for one year and must complete 100 hours of community service as part of his sentence. Third District Judge Deno Himonas also ordered Brown to write an apology letter to widow Vickie Walker for making disparaging remarks about her in the press.
"I'm really ready for all this to just go away," Walker told The Tribune on Wednesday. She declined to comment further.
If Brown complies with these conditions, the third-degree felony security fraud charge against him may be reduced.
"It is my hope this helps Ms. Walker start to repair the damage done. She is already doing great things to help other crime victims," Chief Deputy Attorney General Kirk Torgensen said in a statement. "I am proud of the efforts of everyone who worked so hard to get restitution."
According to court documents, Brown, who lived in Walker's neighborhood, approached the widow with a "good, safe" investment opportunity that promised 12 percent interest on her money after one year and a chance at doubling her cash after four.
Several meetings later, Walker cut Brown an $250,000 check to invest in a storage-unit project in Montana.
But the returns never came. Walker's money was lost.
Investigators later found Brown had used the funds to pay for his mortgage and other personal bills.
Brown has said Walker agreed to give him the $250,000 as a loan and that no agreement was made about investing the money.
Walker's husband and son were the first to encounter 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic at Trolley Square the night of Feb. 12, 2007.
Jeffrey Walker, 53, was killed, and A.J. Walker, then 16, was severely wounded.
In all, Talovic killed five people and wounded four others before he was shot and killed by police.
Since the tragedy, Walker founded Circle the Wagons, a Utah based nonprofit organization that provides survivors of violent crime, their family members and friends with information and resources to help them recover from the trauma of their experience. She currently serves as director and president of the organization.
"I'm grateful the case has come to an end and Mr. Brown has taken responsibility for his actions at a time when our family was very vulnerable," Walker said in a statement. "I'm glad justice has been served."