A former Ogden man was sentenced to serve 30 days in the Weber County Jail Wednesday and ordered to pay almost $200,000 restitution on his guilty plea to charges he participated in an investment scam.
Blake Adams, 36, of Gilbert, Ariz., was also put on three years probation by 2nd District Judge David Roth.Adams had been charged with 15 felony counts of fraud, but last month he entered guilty pleas to three felonies in a plea-bargain agreement.
The defendant admitted to charges of selling unregistered securities, securities fraud and employing an unregistered securities agent.
His business partner and co-defendant, Robert G. Johnson, 41, South Ogden, is scheduled to stand trial for the same 15 felonies on Oct. 24.
Both men had operated the Johnson-Adams Corp., collecting money from investors in 1984 with promises of a 200 percent return within two months. Adams said the company would only accept cash and no receipts were given to investors in return for their money.
Adams asked Roth for leniency, saying he had lost everything when he filed for bankruptcy and that he had suffered both financially and mentally.
"I don't believe I done anything intentionally wrong," Adams said. "I just ask that the court show mercy on me."
Adams told Roth that he now had a real estate license and that he would lose the license if he was sentenced for committing felonies.
But Roth pointed out that the defendant was buying another home in Arizona, and that he had enough money to pay for his credit card charges and to fly his wife and five children to Ogden and back.
"I don't think there is a handful of people in this courtroom who live like you do," Roth said. "You're living like a rich man."
The Adult Probation and Parole Department had recommended that Adams be sent to prison, while Assistant Attorney General Mark Griffin said he didn't think a severe jail term was a good idea if Adams was going to pay restitution.
Griffin told the judge that restitution and jail time was inconsistent with this particular white collar crime.
Adams then told Roth that his wife was an interior decorator and she was working on getting her real estate license. "I am just barely getting by," Adams said.
"The sentence should be a harsh one," Roth said. The judge pointed out that most career criminals don't steal $200,000 from their victims during their lifetime.
Roth said that if Adams paid back the $200,000 within three years, he would consider lowering the three felony guilty pleas to misdemeanors.
"It will require a significant change in your lifestyle," Roth added.
Adams was ordered to report to the jail on Monday.