SALT LAKE CITY -- Former Weber County con artist Wayne Ogden was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison, again.
And the box score for restitution owed by the disgraced former South Ogden realty agent is now ticking at $23 million plus.
Thursday's sentencing was for Ogden's Ponzi scheme No. 3, for which he was indicted federally in 2011. Nine days ago, on Aug. 6, he was sentenced in the same federal courthouse to another 10-year federal prison term for Ponzi scheme No. 2, which drew a federal indictment in 2007.
Both scams came while he was still on parole for his 1998 Weber County conviction for Ponzi scheme No. 1 in state court.
"The public at least will get a 10-year break from a remorseless, conscienceless serial thief," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Hirata told U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart.
"It's plainly clear Wayne Ogden cannot help but lie, cheat and steal," he said. "The public is unprotected, the public is vulnerable, and the public is at substantial risk of financial loss when Wayne Ogden is out of jail."
Hirata said he will still be working as a federal prosecutor when Ogden gets out.
So he can be there, he said, when Ogden violates the terms of his release from prison and again scams investors, as he has since 2001.
"There's no question he will reoffend, Hirata said. "I will be there to bring him before this court again."
But the judge was surprisingly conciliatory.
"I don't happen to believe you are incorrigible and irredeemable," Stewart told Ogden. "I hope you will make the changes while you are in prison that will make me the winner in this little debate and not Mr. Hirata."
He then opted to make Ogden's second 10-year prison term run concurrent, instead of consecutive, to the first 10-year term, and declined Hirata's request that Ogden be taken into custody on the spot. He instead agreed to abide by the Sept. 10 "self-surrender" date set at the Aug. 6 sentencing by Judge Clark Waddoups.
Asked after Thursday's hearing if Ogden had made any substantial payments on the restitution owed his Weber County victims of 1996-1998 while collecting millions of dollars in his subsequent scams, Hirata said he couldn't comment directly.
But he said he could note the restitution owed on the Weber County charges has grown from a $9 million figure to $13 million in recent years because of interest that has accrued.
Thursday's sentencing was for the 2011 indictment in a St. George-based Ponzi, to which Ogden has agreed in a plea bargain to restitution of $5.4 million. Ogden pleaded guilty in April to the St. George charges, with his public defender, Jamie Zenger, telling Judge Stewart he admits to those violations.
For that reason it was unfair for Hirata to call Ogden remorseless, she said. The seeming lack of remorse applies only to Ogden's trial in February for the 2007 charges on the Ponzi based in Sandy, she said.
Zenger noted that Waddoups, at the Aug. 6 sentencing, wondered if others should have been charged as well in the Sandy Ponzi. Ogden was convicted by a jury in that case even though he testified he was working undercover at the time for the FBI, even the DEA, which several federal agents took the stand to verify. He owes $4.8 million restitution in that case.
The Sandy scam bilked investors in a company involved in "flipping" homes for profit in the still-vibrant housing market.
The St. George Ponzi involved defrauding investors in Ogden's credit counseling business that assisted homeowners facing foreclosure.
His Weber County Ponzi, tied to a nonexistent real estate development, numbered 500 victims, many his Weber friends and neighbors.
But he served less than three years in Utah State Prison, being released in 2001 after tearfully promising at his parole hearing in Gunnison to pay off all his victims, invoking the deity four times in promising restitution.
A Ponzi scheme involves using money from new investors to pay returns to prior investors.