Utah man sentenced to prison for $850k investment scheme

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (ABC4) – A Utah man has been sentenced to 42 months in prison for orchestrating an investment scheme involving a start-up mining and precious metals company.

Along with serving a prison term, Andrew Malcolm Lovett, 60, a former resident of Cornelius, North Carolina, was ordered to serve two years under court supervision after he is released from prison and to pay more than $820,000 as restitution, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.

According to court documents, Lovett defrauded more than 30 people from 2014 to 2016 out of nearly $850,000 by convincing them to invest in a start-up mining and precious metals company, Safari Minerals Inc., among other entities with which Lovett was affiliated.

The victims were told that their money would be used to grow Safari and to develop various purported mining projects. He told investors that Safari was, “an emerging junior exploration and mining company” that focused on acquiring developing properties in Nevada that contained an abundance of gold, silver, platinum group metals, and rare earth elements, the DOJ said.

Officials also said Lovett misled investors about his experience as a businessman with knowledge in the mining industry and promoted himself as” a man of faith.”

According to a press release, Lovett admitted in court to lying to investors about the progress and viability of Safari and did not tell his investors about his previous criminal history, including his previous conviction for bank fraud.

Lovett redirected several hundred thousand dollars thousands of dollars from Safari for his own personal use to pay for rent, entertainment, and travel.

In March 2021, Lovett pleaded guilty to securities fraud and transactional money laundering.

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