The Justice Files: Catch me if you can

Justice Files

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Gary Gonzales has a history of running scams in Utah, and this latest racket even has his own brother demanding justice.

Get Utah’s latest news sent to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to the free ABC4 daily newsletter.

“What’s so concerning is that he’s doing this to my mother and she’s a senior citizen,” said Derek Gonzales. “And he’s doing the same thing as he did to his victims.”

He allegedly swindled seven people in a 2015 scam, but has yet to be prosecuted.

In that latest scam, he convinced people in the Salt Lake area to buy into his “buddy pass” offer.

By investing in his company called “Angel Monuments,” the buyer received free or low-cost flights on Southwest and other airlines. But the free flights never materialized.

In 2009, Gonzales was arrested and eventually convicted of operating the same “buddy pass” scam in Salt Lake county. He was placed on probation.

Two years earlier, he was convicted of yet another scam in Cache County.

Many of his past victims dipped into their life savings to invest in his company. One woman paid him $8,000 for legal advice. Gonzales isn’t an attorney.

Another young woman took up his offer for airline tickets.

“He was offering two tickets for $150,” said Pauline Valdez in 2009. “I told her that it sounds too good to be true.”

To date, there has been no closure for victims of Gonzales 2015 scam. That’s because he skipped town and there’s now a warrant for his arrest.

“He’s impacted a lot of people’s lives on the negative side,” said his brother. “I mean, some of these people aren’t with us today. They had to go to their graves knowing that they’re broke and their loved ones had to, you know, bury them.”

But Derek Gonzales said his brother taking advantage of their mother was the last straw. After nearly six years, he can’t understand why no one is arresting his brother.

“He comes in, sneaks into Utah, and leaves,” said Gonzales. “To me, that’s making a mockery of our justice system in Utah.”

Gonzales said his brother can be found at a homeless shelter in Los Angeles. He claimed to know this because his mother sends $200 to him every month.

Warrants for white collar crime aren’t a high priority according to a criminal attorney. But in this case, there’s another problem.

“What’s interesting about this case is the prosecuting attorney has gone into private practice. The judge has retired, so the case is just lingering,” said Clayton Simms. “In my opinion, it’s just sitting there because no one has executed the warrant.”

“It’s upsetting and enough is enough,” Gonzales said. “Enough is enough.”

The attorneys general office which is prosecuting the cased is attempting to learn more about what happened to Gonzales’s case. Initially, a spokesman said they did not handle the 2015 case, but upon a review of his case at Salt Lake’s district court, they did.

For now, Gary Gonzales may have pulled off another of his scams. This time, it’s against the judicial system.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah Coronavirus

More Coronavirus Updates

IN FOCUS

More In Focus

Justice Files

More Justice Files