Highland man who pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering learns sentence

File photo: UPI/Sakhorn

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Highland man who pleaded guilty in May to fraud and money laundering has learned his sentence.

Theodore Lamont Hansen, 50, will serve 48 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Shelby ruled. Hansen was ordered to pay $1,435,913.44 in restitution as a part of the sentence.

“Another Utah fraudster has come to justice in federal court. In this case, a repeat offender ignored a merciful opportunity to separate from a life of crime given to him by a state court,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said in a prepared statement.

“It is unfortunate that more victims had to pay such a steep price for this swindler’s federal crimes after he ignored the state court’s orders in his previous conviction. There are far too many fraudsters in Utah who are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing, and Utah investors must be more mindful when parting with their hard-earned savings.”

Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the Salt Lake City FBI also shared thoughts.

“Fraudsters are very good at what they do,” Haertel said. “They are extremely convincing and will work hard to gain your trust.  Driven by greed, many reoffend.

“”The FBI will aggressively investigate these crimes, but we urge the public to do their part too. When considering investment opportunities, do your due diligence and ask some tough, detailed questions about a person’s financial history. The public is also encouraged to check court records and the state’s White Collar Crime Offender Registry online at utfraud.com.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan noted Hansen is a repeat offender.

“Mr. Hansen has made a lifestyle of fraud – whether it was fraud against investors or fraud against a financial institution. The IRS, working with our law enforcement partners, have finally put an end to his lifestyle of fraud.”

As a part of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Hansen admitted that he devised a scheme to defraud an individual of $1 million using fraudulent promises and omitting material facts. Hansen convinced the victim of the scheme, identified as E.L. in the plea agreement, to give him the money by representing he would use the funds to purchase full ownership of Seven Peaks Water Park in Provo.

Hansen told E.L. he would return the money if the transaction could not be completed within 24 hours. In exchange for the investment, E.L. was promised $23.5 percent ownership in the waterpark.

Hansen admitted that he used the $1 million for things inconsistent with his representations and never returned the money to E.L. For example, he used $28,000 for a purchase from RC Automotive.

The bank fraud conviction stems from a large check-kiting scheme involving Bank of the West and Deseret First Credit Union.

In a sentencing memorandum, federal prosecutors told the court that “Hansen is a prodigious fraudster whose only real occupation is convincing others to give him money and property.”

Hansen plea agreement

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