Case of alleged $100 Million Ponzi scheme head to jury
Salt Lake City —
(KUTV) The fraud, money laundering, and tax invasion case against Rick Koerber, years in the making, is now headed to a jury.
Lawyers for the US Attorney's Office, and for Koerber, spent all day on closing arguments Friday.
"From the very beginning this was a Ponzi Scheme," Stewart Walz, assistant U.S. Attorney said. "This was deceptive."
Koerber is accused of taking in millions of dollars from investors, pledging returns on real estate investments, diverting money to pricey cars, movie making, buying restaurants, and even minting coins.
Prosecutors said as Koerber's firm, Founders Capital, was losing funds, he paid old investors with money from new.
"The dollars that came in to Founders Capital were generated from fraud," the prosecutor said.
Koerber, who styled himself a cowboy capitalist, has been vocal in fighting the charges---first at the state, then the federal level.
"The government can destroy," his lawyer Marcus Mumford said. "That's what they do."
Mumford told jurors that Founders Capital has "real assets," and maintained prosecutors built their case on "half truths."
Koerber, said Mumford, even put a "fraud alert" on his website, advising people how avoid getting burned in financial transactions.
The jury deliberated Friday night, and if needed, will be back again on Monday.