SALT LAKE CITY -- Former Weber County swindler Wayne Ogden pleaded guilty Friday to charges from his second federal fraud case.
A sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 15 before U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart.
The sentencing will also cover the charges from Ogden's February jury conviction in the same federal courthouse on another fraud conviction. Unique to that 2002 real estate scam, which investigators said turned into a Ponzi scheme, was Ogden's claim that he was working undercover for federal regulators.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, "our prosecutors and the defendant recommend a 120-month (10-year) sentence in each case and that they be imposed concurrently," said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Salt Lake City, which prosecuted both the 2002 case and the current case, which were investigated by the FBI.
Ogden has admitted owing restitution of $3 million to jilted investors in each case, according to a news release from prosecutors.
In the 2002 case, Ogden operated his Empire Investment Group in Sandy.
In the current case, Ogden, from September 2005 to September 2006, "devised and executed a scheme to defraud investors" running a mortgage relief firm out of St. George with his brother Terry, according to the release.
Federal charges against Terry Ogden, formerly of South Ogden, like his brother Wayne, are still pending in the St. George scam.
Terry Ogden had been scheduled to testify against his brother Wayne.
In the mortgage counseling scam, prosecutors describe a business plan that included finding financially distressed homeowners, negotiating their debt, using investor money to pay same, or securing refinancing.
Investors in the company were promised returns ranging from 20 percent over a two- to four-week period to as much as 100 percent over several days, and investors were reassured their money was secured by homeowner properties.
But rather than use investor funds to pay off the homeowner debt of his clients, "Ogden admitted he used those funds to make Ponzi payments to prior investors, pay business expenses, and personal expenses for himself and his brother Terry," according to the release.
The federal indictments were similar to charges in Weber County in a late-1990s real estate scam that sent Ogden to Utah State Prison for just less than three years.
All three cases were Ponzi schemes, with new investors' funds used to pay returns to prior investors.
In the Weber County case, Ogden's court-ordered restitution topped $9 million owed to his estimated 500 victims, many of whom were former South Ogden friends and neighbors.