A Utah man agreed to plead guilty for his involvement in two separate Ponzi schemes - while on parole for a previous conviction for a third Ponzi scheme - that took in more than $30 million from investors. Wayne Ogden, of Koosharem, Utah, was convicted earlier this year for his role in one of the Ponzi schemes, and in a deal with authorities, agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud in exchange for a recommended 10-year sentence to be served concurrently in both cases. As part of the deal, Ogden will also agree to an order of restitution exceeding $3 million for each scheme.
Ogden was originally indicted in December 2007 for running a real estate Ponzi scheme in Kiowa, Colorado, where investors were promised returns as high as 100% from the development of a 360-acre parcel of land. However, while awaiting trial on those charges, Ogden was charged with concocting a separate Ponzi scheme that solicited underwater homeowners to provide assistance with refinancing and restructuring mortgages. Ogden's company, Paradigm Acceptance LLC ("Paradigm"), promised short-term returns ranging from 20% to 100%, assuring investors their money was secured by property. In total, Paradigm raised more than $29 million from investors.
However, each venture was nothing more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme where new investor funds were used to pay older investors, thus creating the appearance of a successful operation. Of the $29 million Ogden raised from Paradigm investors, nearly $23 million was paid back to older investors, and nearly $2 million was paid in salaries to Ogden and his brother.
Not surprisingly, at the time Ogden began soliciting investors for his first scheme, he was on parole for a $7 million Ponzi scheme he operated from 1995 to 1997 that ultimately netted him a 15-year prison sentence. However, he was paroled after just 28 months,
Ogden was convicted of yet another similar scheme during the mid-1990's when five hundred investors lost approximately $7 million. He was sentenced to two consecutive terms of up to fifteen years, but was paroled after serving 28 months.