SALT LAKE CITY — The former president of the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels — a group that provides assistance to law enforcement families — has been charged with pocketing more than $300,000 from two separate group funds for his own personal use.
Michael Drury, 49, of Salt Lake City, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with three counts of theft and two counts of unlawful dealing of property by a fiduciary, all second-degree felonies.
On Jan. 22, Drury informed members of the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels that he had borrowed $100,000 from the group "as a short-term investment loan and was in the process of paying it back," according to charging documents.
In February, members concerned about the group's tax-exempt status contacted the Utah Attorney General's Office to look into Drury's loan.
An investigation found that Drury had actually transferred more than $300,000 from two honorary colonels accounts to several of his personal accounts, the charges state.
The Salt Lake Honorary Colonels "is a group of civic-minded businesspeople who have pooled their energies and resources to assist and support the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Unified Police Department," its website states.
The group typically provides assistance to the families of law enforcers killed in the line of duty, or who have become sick or inured while on the job, and also provides financial support to law enforcement agencies in developing drug prevention programs in schools.
Starting in May of 2016, large sums of money were withdrawn from the group's account and deposited into the account for Big Shot Ranch in Grantsville, according to charging documents. Money was also allegedly transferred from the honorary colonels account to United Business Brokers.
Investigators say both of those accounts belong to Drury, who is listed on the Big Shot Ranch website as president. He is listed as the chairman and founder of United Business Brokers on its website. The website describes the company as a business transaction firm.
"A total of $182,789.05 was transferred by check or online transfer from SLHC's account to Drury's business or personal account," the charges state. "Additionally, there were large cash withdrawals from the account by Drury that are unexplained."
On March 1, after investigators met with Salt Lake Honorary Colonels members to discuss Drury's loan, a large deposit of more than $106,000 was credited to the group's account, the charges state.
In a separate investigation, the clubhouse of the Big Shot Ranch burned to the ground on March 19. The fire caused about $400,000 in damage to the clubhouse and was considered a total loss. A search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court says investigators determined the cause of the fire was arson.
No arrests have been made in that arson case. The Tooele County sheriff's detective investigating the fire was out of town Friday and unavailable for comment about it.
Funds were also transferred from the account belonging to the Utah Honorary Colonels, which is associated with the Utah Attorney General's Office, the charges state. The account is controlled solely by Drury, according to investigators.
Money was transferred from that account to United Business Brokers Inc., according to court records.
"A total of $121,499.45 was transferred to Drury's business or personal accounts from the Utah Honorary Colonels account," the charges state.
Although Drury's name has been removed from the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels' website, charging documents indicate that he "continues to speak and act on behalf of (the group) in order to solicit money for the organization."
The state requested a $200,000 arrest warrant.