UTAH (ABC4) – A Utah man has pleaded guilty to a $200 million ponzi scheme, defrauding around 500 victims.
Court documents identify the man as 62-year-old Gaylen Rust. Rust, along with his ex-wife 62-year-old Denise Rust and his son, 39-year-old Joshua Rust have been implicated in a silver trading scheme that bamboozled victims out of approximately $200 million.
Gaylen has pleaded guilty to securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy. His ex-wife, Denise, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and is currently serving time on that charge.
His son, Joshua has a trial scheduled for April 2022 for charges of money laundering and attempted conspiracy to commit fraud.
Gaylen is the listed owner of three companies including Rust Rare Coin, Inc. (“RRC”), R Legacy Entertainment LLC, and R Legacy Racing. Denise is listed as the secretary of RRC and Joshua is listed as the manager of RRC.
Authorities say Rust is guilty of defrauding victims by encouraging them to invest in a non-existent silver trading program. The schemes in question took place starting around 1996 and continued through November 15, 2018.
Rust is being charged with defrauding investors by providing “false statements, misrepresentations, deception, fraudulent conduct, and omissions of material facts.” He offered and sold investments in a silver trading program to around 500 investors throughout the U.S. while collecting around $200 million dollars from the scheme.
Officials say Rust falsely told investors their funds would be used to purchase silver bullion when in fact, the money was almost wholly divested to unrelated businesses, personal uses and as payouts for other investors.
Rust allegedly told investors around $80 million worth of silver bullions were being stored at Brink’s Global Services USA in either Salt Lake City or Los Angeles, when in reality, “almost little or no silver” was being stored at Brink’s. Documents say Rust required a minimum buy-in for investors and falsely mentioned using a trading algorithm by HSBC Bank that allowed average yields of 20-25% annually. Rust claimed he never experienced losses when in fact, no such algorithm existed
Court documents show the money has been funneled to personal accounts and used towards personal expenses including a $2 million Layton home and racehorses.
All three defendants opened personal bank accounts at Zion Bank to launder tens of millions of dollars, as well.
Gaylen’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 8, 2022. Officials say he’s agreed to pay $153 million in restitution to over 500 victims, but it’s undetermined how that payment will be disbursed.