clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Probe turns up 550 possible Ponzi victims

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court investigation of real estate agent Wayne R. Ogden has turned up the names of 550 potential Ponzi scheme victims.

"Their names all appear somewhere in the twisted business history of Wayne Ogden," said Steve Bailey, an Ogden-based lawyer who is the court-appointed trustee over Ogden's bankruptcy case.All 550 people are considered potential creditors of Ogden in the bankruptcy proceedings, Bailey said. The court will send them a letter in the next two weeks urging them to file notices of claim with the court in Salt Lake City.

The latest head count comes from recent depositions from Ogden, his wife and others, along with documents Ogden's attorneys have filed with the bankruptcy court and the work of an accounting firm hired by Bailey.

The documents include accounts Ogden had with seven banks in northern Utah.

Bailey said that according to Ogden's bank records, the real estate agent paid out $14.2 million to investors from July 1996 until he went into hiding May 28.

The $14.2 million is the amount in checks Ogden paid out to investors, Bailey said.

"We don't know how many of the checks were made good," he said. "That's the amount written back to investors. We have no idea how much of that was bad paper."

The total loss figure will develop as claims come in and are docu-ment-ed by Ogden's alleged victims - a process Bailey said could take three to five years.

During his deposition, Ogden invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Ogden's legal counsel advised him to remain silent because Weber County has filed six second-degree felony fraud charges against him.