Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah fraudsters plead guilty
Courts » Victims lost $9M in Ponzi scheme involving Vernal real estate project.
First Published May 22 2014 05:02 pm • Last Updated May 22 2014 05:11 pm

A man from George and another from Utah have pleaded guilty to securities fraud and money laundering for a scheme in which investors lost about $9 million.

Martin A. Pool, 44, of Atlanta, and Armand R. Franquelin, 57, of Liberty, Utah, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City to charges that had been filed in April.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The two admitted that from 2006 to 2010 they persuaded investors to convert their traditional IRAs to self-directed IRA accounts and invest in a residential real estate project known as Haven Estates in Vernal through a company called the Elva Group.

The men promised monthly returns of 8 percent to 20 percent but now have admitted they used funds for personal expenses and to pay interest to other investors in what is know as a Ponzi scheme.

Pool and Franquelin agreed to pay $9 million in restitution, including more than $500,000 to Alabama residents.

Pool is scheduled for sentencing on July 31 and Franquelin on Aug. 18 before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball. The plea agreement recommends a 6½ year sentence in federal prison.

Utah, Alabama and federal agents investigated the case.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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
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.