This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated.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 Utah man who bilked investors out of more than $1.8 million through a scheme that alleged "top secret" government programs and access to warehouses full of Iraqi cash has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in federal court.
Joshua Jay Hansen pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court on Wednesday.
The next day, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a civil action against Hansen for the same scheme.
Court papers filed in both the criminal and civil cases say that between 2009 and early 2016, Hansen and an unidentified business partner claimed they had security clearance to invest in the purchase and sale of "Iraqi dinars and oil contracts with various foreign governments and large oil companies."
The pair promised 46 investors tax-exempt returns of up to "15,000 percent within 90 days," court papers say.
Hansen claimed to have special corporate, military and government access and said he had seen "warehouses the size of Sam's club filled with foreign currency bundled in shrink wrap."
He also showed prospective investors documents from a fake bank account with a balance of more than $4 billion, charging documents in both cases state.
Hansen faces up to 20 years in prison and $5 million in fines when he is sentenced in the criminal case by U. S. District Judge Robert Shelby on Aug. 10.
A plea agreement statement in Hansen's criminal case says he has agreed to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution to victims.
The SEC complaint alleges acts of securities fraud and the sale of unregistered securities. It asks the court for a permanent injunction barring Hansen from ever working in any future investment or securities-related businesses.
Federal court records show a settlement agreement between Hansen and the SEC was signed the same day as the civil action was filed.
Hansen admits to the activities alleged in court papers and agrees to restitution.
Additional court records show federal prosecutors and the SEC brought similar cases against Hansen's business partner, John Scott Clark, in March.
Clark pleaded guilty to criminal charges, and in April a federal judge sentenced him to 36 months prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release.
The records show Clark also resolved his SEC case through a settlement agreement that also bars him from securities or investment sales.