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Screenprinter charged with bilking customers out of $72,000

First Published      Last Updated Mar 25 2014 10:09 pm

A Layton screenprinter is accused of bilking customers out of more than $72,000 by taking deposits on clothing orders and never providing the printed items.

In charges filed Tuesday, investigators wrote that the man, 39, approached various businesses from 2009 to 2012 and claimed his company, Image Wear Utah, was offering products at a discount because a large cancelled order left him with extra inventory.

The man asked for a 50 percent deposit, but did not provide the printed clothing. As deadlines for delivery passed and customers asked where their orders were, the man made various excuses for the delay, investigators wrote. He told customers that his computer had a virus, his child was ill, his wife had a baby with complications, a graphic designer was working on a proof, a friend died, his wife was leaving him, he had to go to the dentist, and other explanations. He then promised delivery within days but never made the deliveries or sent refunds.

He also allegedly scammed an embroiderer, picking up a work order without paying, claiming he forgot his wallet and needed to get back to the hospital to be with his son.

Meanwhile, orders for shirts were never filled for dozens of construction firms, multiple preschools and private schools, dance studios, gyms, pet care businesses, and the Oakley City Rodeo, among others.

Investigators from the state attorney general's office identified more than 100 victims. The value of the unfilled orders totaled to $72,184.

The man was charged with 11 counts of communication fraud and one count of pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies.