Utah Securities Fraud Attorneys
Utah is a popular destination for retirees and travelers who seek the outdoors, majestic canyons, national parks, and great cities and recreational destinations like Salt Lake and Park City. Where tourists, affluent retirees, and tightly knit communities exist, Ponzi schemes and affinity frauds have an opportunity to flourish. Affinity fraud — a type of investment fraud in which a con artist targets an identifiable group based on its religion or other communal tie — is particularly prevalent in Utah, where the Mormon church calls home, and whose members are often victimized by perpetrators seeking to infiltrate their community to exploit their trust and faith. Malecki Law is a securities fraud law firm that has investigated and litigated against perpetrators and enablers of investment scams and frauds that use unethical practices to influence investors, recovering tens of millions of dollars for seniors and other retail investors caught up in Ponzi schemes perpetrated across the U.S. and abroad.
In March of 2022, Utah’s Division of Securities, in connection with efforts of other federal agencies including the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), helped to prosecute and sentence Utah business owner Gaylen Rust for running a $200 million Ponzi scheme. Mr. Rust will serve 19 years in federal prison and has been ordered to repay $153 million to 568 of his victims. Mr. Rust pleaded guilty in December 2021 to securities fraud, and, in his plea agreement, admitted to taking money from investors and misappropriating it to his own personal accounts. According to the Utah regulator’s press release, investigators found that Rust promoted a “silver trading program” in which he told investors that their money would be used to purchase silver bullion. But in classic Ponzi scheme fashion, Mr. Rust used funds from later investors to pay his earlier ones, creating the false impression that his investment program was successful. As stated by one U.S. Attorney who worked on the case: “This should be a stark reminder to all Utahns that it is imperative to vet your financial advisor or anyone who attempts to persuade you to invest in their business or financial dealings.”
Malecki Law’s securities fraud lawyers have recovered tens of millions for investors in numerous Ponzi scheme cases, including settlements involving:
- $7.2 million from a major brokerage firm that had a duty to supervise lost funds in a real estate-based Ponzi scheme in the Bronx;
- $3.8 million in the Biscayne Capital Ponzi and theft case on behalf of Latin American investors who had their money at a U.S. brokerage firm;
- Over $1.5 million in settlements for retired investors in Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey from a small brokerage firm that failed to supervise one of its financial advisers;
- Over $3.9 million in a settlement for upstate New Yorkers defrauded in a Ponzi scheme where they thought their funds were safe at a major U.S. brokerage firm; and
The securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law work with investors and retirees to recover investment losses in fraud and Ponzi schemes, as well as lost funds due to other financial misconduct. We are skilled practitioners who have handled numerous securities litigations, arbitrations, and mediation cases with record settlements and awards. Our team also has a keen eye for fraudulent practices designed to skirt compliance and supervisory controls of financial firms who have a supervisory duty to be on the alert for and protect customer funds.
There has been a growing number of elder financial abuse cases reported across Utah, which already has a long history with affinity frauds. Elder financial abuse can range from improper use of funds, falsification of records, embezzlement, coercion, and denial to fraud. Seniors are especially vulnerable to affinity fraud and other schemes sometimes as a result of their diminished capacity. Malecki Law’s securities fraud attorneys work with seniors and their families to recover investment funds lost to fraud, Ponzi schemes, or other financial misconduct. If you or anyone you know has been solicited with questionable schemes or witnessed suspicious activities in your accounts, schedule a free initial consultation with a securities fraud law firm like Malecki Law, by calling (212) 943-1233, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.