Reports the AP via Google News:
US financial regulators charged a father and son in Utah state with operating a $220 million property investment Ponzi scheme which targeted fellow members of the Mormon church.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Wendell Jacobson and his son Allen Jacobson, of Fountain Green in central Utah, with selling shares in their purported real estate business and using the funds from some investors to pay returns promised to others.
It said that since 2008 the two had solicited investments into their business of ostensibly buying, rehabilitating and then renting out properties.
They appeared to use the memberships in the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — the Mormon church — “to make connections and win over the trust of prospective investors,” the SEC said.
Securities in their businesses were sold to investors without registering with the SEC as required by law.