This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Bountiful man who claimed huge success by trading exclusively in the stock of electronics giant Apple Inc. was sent to prison Monday and ordered to pay $21 million in restitution to victims for his operation of a Ponzi scheme.
Third District Court Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills sentenced Roger S. Bliss to a minimum of four years in the Utah State Prison, a term that is to run consecutively with a one-year sentence from federal court for obstruction of justice and providing false information to federal authorities investigating his case.
Bliss pleaded guilty in the state case that was prosecuted by the Utah attorney general's office to four counts of securities fraud and one count of engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity.
Bliss claimed he never had a losing day in trading, that he could yield returns of 100 percent annually by dealing in Apple stock, and that he would split earnings with investors. Instead, according to a federal investigation, he lost $3 million in trading, used about $4 million in investor funds for personal expenses, and took funds from some investors to pay off others and make it appear his operation was successful.
Hruby-Mills ordered him to repay $21 million to the 100 or so investors who lost money.
Bliss was immediately taken into custody for transportation to the prison.