Protesters gather as fraudster sentenced in federal court

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – U.S. District Judge Fredric Block said Rick Koerber put together the kind of scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

Koerber was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that reportedly netted him some $45 million.

Cameras weren’t allowed in court Tuesday for his sentencing—but it was a dramatic day inside and out.

Outside the courtroom — Ammon Bundy, who gained fame during an armed standoff at a wildlife refuge in Oregon — led a group of protestors claiming this whole case is a conspiracy.

Inside —people lined up to speak as victims, but the judge quickly lost patience since all of those claiming to be victims of the Ponzi scheme were actually there to defend —Rick Koerber’s character.

“He was honest, straightforward with us, he never told me what I wanted to hear, he told me things that I didn’t want to hear. Never obligated to give us….a real travesty,” said Mary Colovich, a victim of the scheme.

Koerber was sentenced to 170 months in prison. He has already said he plans to appeal to the 10th Circuit.

The judge described Koerber as talented and charismatic and said that “this whole scheme was deceptive from day one.”

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