Utah man sentenced to federal prison for series of money laundering and bank fraud schemes

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FILE: $100 bills. (NEXSTAR)

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC4 News) – A Utah man who plead guilty to money laundering and bank fraud in May in connection with financial fraud scheme will serve 48 months in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Shelby sentenced 50-year-old Theodore Lamont Hansen Thursday afternoon in a U.S. District court.

Hansen was reportedly ordered to pay $1,435,913.44 in restitution as a part of the sentence.

“Another Utah fraudster has come to justice in federal court. In this case, a repeat offender ignored a merciful opportunity to separate from a life of crime given to him by a state court. It is unfortunate that more victims had to pay such a steep price for this swindler’s federal crimes after he ignored the state court’s orders in his previous conviction. There are far too many fraudsters in Utah who are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing, and Utah investors must be more mindful when parting with their hard-earned savings,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today.

“Fraudsters are very good at what they do. They are extremely convincing and will work hard to gain your trust. Driven by greed, many re-offend,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the Salt Lake City FBI. “The FBI will aggressively investigate these crimes, but we urge the public to do their part too. When considering investment opportunities, do your due diligence and ask some tough, detailed questions about a person’s financial history. The public is also encouraged to check court records and the state’s White Collar Crime Offender Registry online at utfraud.com.”

“Mr. Hansen has made a lifestyle of fraud – whether it was fraud against investors or fraud against a financial institution. The IRS, working with our law enforcement partners, have finally put an end to his lifestyle of fraud,” IRS Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan said.

As a part of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Hansen admitted that he devised a scheme to defraud an individual of $1 million using fraudulent promises and omitting material facts, according to a news release.

Hansen is also said to have convinced the victim of the scheme, identified as E.L. in the plea agreement, to give him the money and said he would use the funds to purchase full ownership of Seven Peaks Water Park in Provo.

The News release states that Hansen told E.L. he would return the money if the transaction could not be completed within 24 hours. In exchange for the investment, E.L. was promised 23.5 percent ownership in the waterpark.

Hansen also admitted that he did not use the $1 million for what he said he would and never returned the money to E.L. Hansen reportedly used $28,000 for a purchase from RC Automotive.

The bank fraud conviction happened as a result of a large check-kiting scheme involving Bank of the West and Deseret First Credit Union.

The check-kiting scheme, according to a news release, involved at least 10 different companies and got so complicated in the end that Hansen and a colleague would go to Bank of the West every morning to sort out each transaction.

According, to the sentencing memo, The bank discovered the kite and put an end to it. Bank of the West was reportedly left with a loss of more than $1.6 million.

Hansen is said to have asked an elderly friend to cover the loss, but the friend would only agree to pay a portion of the amount, taking the loss amount down to $585,913.44.

In a sentencing memorandum, federal prosecutors told the court that “Hansen is a prodigious fraudster whose only real occupation is convincing others to give him money and property,” according to a news release.

Hansen was convicted by the State of Utah for selling unregistered securities and placed on probation for 36 months.

As a part of his conditions of release, Hansen was required to disclose to any prospective investor in writing that he had about $45 million in outstanding judgments against him – something officials say he did not do in this case.

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