Another victim comes forward in Utah ‘Shark Tank’ contestant fraud investigation

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Nate Holzapfel was arrested after a fraud investigation in Utah. (Utah County Attorneys Office)

PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – After defrauding a woman out of $196,000, a former Shark Tank contestant and Utah native is facing more charges after another victim has come forward.

Nate Holzapfel, 42, has been charged with three additional felonies after another victim came forward, the Utah County Attorney’s Office (UCAO) announced Tuesday.

Officials say Holzapfel has been charged with two more counts of theft by deception and one count of communications fraud.

“We express our gratitude for the media’s help in heightening the awareness and providing information for victims to contact our office. It appears that multiple victims are involved in a disturbing pattern of activity from an individual,” states Utah County Attorney David Leavitt. “Sergeant Christensen is conducting a comprehensive investigation and working with victims to collect evidence.”

The Utahn gained notoriety in 2013 after pitching the Mission Belt Co., which makes no-holes belts while also fighting world hunger, on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank.’ Holzapfel accepted an offer from Shark Daymond John. Mission Belt was founded by Holzapfel’s brother, Zac, and Jeff Jensen.

Back in October, Holzapfel was arrested on three counts of second-degree felony communications fraud after he preyed on a woman who had just lost her father and had a disabled son she was taking care of. Court documents showed that Holzapfel pressured the woman into signing over her home without her knowledge, and then sold it, costing the woman $200,000.

Holzapfel was booked into the Utah County Jail with a $20,000 bail and was bailed out within 90 minutes authorities said.

The UCAO announced that they would be expanding their investigation back in October after more victims came forward.

According to the affidavit in Holzapfel’s arrest, he claimed to have been running three businesses – Save My House, LLC; Bristle & Beard, LLC; and NILC, LLP.

“We have more victims coming forward. Victims are often selected by the perpetrator through social and dating apps. I urge people to exercise additional caution. Be aware of red flags, like asking for money, or investing in ventures. Protect yourself.” stated Sgt. Christensen.

The Utah County Attorneys Office Bureau of Investigations asks anyone with additional information or who has been victimized to call our office at 801-851-8069.

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