Convicted Utah real estate swindler backs out of plea deal

Court • Wayne Ogden, convicted of a Ponzi scheme dating to the '90s, will to go to trial on federal charges related to wire and mail fraud.
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Convicted swindler Wayne Reed Ogden backed out of a plea deal Monday, opting to go to trial on charges stemming from a scam he allegedly carried out while on parole from an earlier conviction.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Loren Washburn said in court that Ogden also faces a new indictment in the case but did not give details.

Ogden, 47, declined after a court hearing to say why he had changed his mind. His attorney, Mary Corporon, said that shortly before the change of plea hearing was scheduled to begin Tuesday, Ogden told her he wanted to back out of the deal.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups asked the attorneys involved to come up with a schedule that will lead to a trial on 15 counts of wire and mail fraud for Ogden's alleged misuse of $1.74 million of investors' funds. The money was supposed to go toward 360 acres of mostly undeveloped land near Kiowa, Colo., about 25 miles southwest of Denver.

A federal grand jury alleged that in 2002 Ogden promised investors returns of up to 100 percent for the real estate project, but then diverted funds for personal use and to make payments to other investors in what is known as a Ponzi scheme.

He also allegedly falsified documents, including deeds of trust and loan documents.

Ogden was convicted of a similar scheme when he defrauded 500 investors — many of them friends of the former South Ogden Eagle Scout — out of an estimated $7 million in a Ponzi scheme between 1995 and 1997.

He reached an agreement with Weber County prosecutors in 1998 in which he pleaded guilty to four charges and was sentenced to two consecutive terms of up to 15 years in prison.

Ogden was first paroled in November of 2000 after serving 28 months but was sent back to prison on a parole violation in September 2003. He was paroled again in December 2007 and discharged from parole in December 2010, according to the Utah Department of Corrections.

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