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Serial scammer Wayne Ogden pleads guilty to new fraud charges

Published April 12, 2013 8:04 pm

Court • Utahn admits to two charges of fraud in plea deal that will include restitution to victims.
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Serial scammer Wayne Ogden pleaded guilty Friday to two charges in Salt Lake City's federal court, marking the third time he has been convicted of frauds that cost investors a total of at least $15 million.

Ogden, 49, admitted to two charges of wire and securities fraud as part of a plea deal with the U.S. attorney's office. Prosecutors agreed to recommend a 10-year sentence, and Ogden has signed off on at least $3.58 million in restitution in connection to his operation of a real estate investment company called Paradigm Acceptance LLC.

In February, a jury found him guilty of six fraud-related charges in a separate federal case. As part of the plea agreement he signed Friday, prosecutors also will recommend a 10-year sentence in that case to run concurrently and will ask that Ogden be ordered to pay at least another $4.86 million in restitution.

In 1998, Ogden was convicted of running a real estate Ponzi scheme out of Weber County and served time in the Utah State Prison. He had defrauded 500 investors — many of them friends of the former South Ogden Eagle Scout — out of an estimated $7 million between 1995 and 1997.

Upon his initial release in late 2000, Ogden was barred from soliciting investment funds and engaging in real estate investments without permission from parole officers.

Testimony at his federal trial earlier this year, however, showed that he operated a real-estate investment company, Sandy-based Empire Investment Group, in 2001 and early 2002 while having others act as fronts. That led to his first federal indictment in 2007 on fraud charges.

Ogden returned to prison for a spell because of a parole violation. After a second parole in September 2005, Ogden said he recruited his brother Terry to form a real estate investment company called Paradigm Acceptance, which Wayne Ogden conceded he helped run in violation of his parole.

Paradigm investors were told they would help refinance homes of owners who were in financial trouble in return for fees and a percentage of monies that were to be saved as a result of the company's negotiations with creditors.

Instead, Ogden, who now lives in Koosharem in Sevier County, admitted he ran the operation as a Ponzi scheme, paying back more mature investors from the funds of new ones.

Terry Ogden also was indicted for wire and securities fraud. His case remains pending. In his plea agreement, Wayne Ogden said Terry participated in the scheme.

In 2011, Wayne Ogden backed out of a plea deal to settle the earlier federal case and that led prosecutors to seek the second indictment, which also named Terry Ogden. The U.S. attorney's office for Utah declined to say Friday what sentence was proposed in that earlier plea agreement.


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