Lawsuit seeks repayment of more than $500K raised in Utah Ponzi scheme

(Chris Detrick | Tribune file photo) Gaylen Rust poses for a portrait at his home in Layton on May 22, 2013.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to retrieve more than a half-million dollars from five people and a company that it says improperly profited from an alleged Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Utah rare-coin dealer Gaylen Dean Rust.

Attorney Jonathan O. Hafen filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Utah in his role as the court-appointed receiver overseeing the assets of Rust and his businesses. Part of Hafen’s role is to try to recover money the scheme raised improperly, but is in the hands of third parties, for possible redistribution to bilked investors.

Rust, owner of Rust Rare Coin, Inc., was indicted on federal charges last year that he fraudulently solicited $200 million from 500 investors for a fake silver trading program. His case in ongoing. Charges say he never bought and traded silver as advertised, and fraudulently paid off early investors with money raised from new investors.

The new lawsuit names six people or groups whom it says combined to receive at least $548,840 improperly from the scheme: Daniel, Sandy and Eric Dearden; Dearden & Associates, Inc.; and Dolores Batalla.

“It would be unjust, under the circumstances, to allow defendants to retain payments from the silver pool in excess of their individual contributions,” the lawsuit says.

For example, it says that Daniel and Sandy Dearden invested $55,735 over five years in the Rust’s silver pool and were paid $252,662.

The lawsuit seeks to retrieve unjust payments plus interest and attorney fees.