SEC obtains judgment in $20M Ponzi scheme
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Legal Newsline) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission says the U. S. District Court for the District of Utah granted its motion for entry of final judgment against three people in a $20 million Ponzi scheme.
Thomas R. Fry, Bevan J. Wilde, Gary W. Hansen, Michael G. Butcher, James B. Mooring and Michael W. Averett were ordered to disgorge profits and pay civil penalties totaling over $20 million. Previously, the court also entered permanent injunctions against these defendants enjoining them from future violations of the federal securities laws.
The SEC complaint alleged that the defendants were promoters for a Ponzi scheme operated by Jeffrey L. Mowen, who is currently serving a 10-year prison term for his actions. They raised millions of dollars through the unregistered offer and sale of high-yield promissory notes to over 150 investors in several states. The funds raised were then funneled to Mowen through Thomas Fry, who used the funds for his personal benefit, misappropriating over $8 million.
The court ordered disgorgement of the following amounts of ill-gotten gains and civil penalties, respectively: Thomas Fry - $16,751,439.94 and $250,000; Bevan Wilde - $1,326,241.77 and $130,000; James Mooring - $505,521.84 and $130,000; Michael Averett - $774,936.02 and $130,000; Gary Hansen - $349,481.33 and $130,000; Michael Butcher - $201,278.11 and $130,000.