OGDEN -- "Sounds too good to be true" is a handy maxim for living.
Maybe another could be "it sounds too bad to be a lie."
JaNelle Moore Garner, 60, is not seeking investors for the grandiose plans for her $10 million, 15-acre Tude Shifter Wonder Emporium sited for North Ogden, keyed to educational tools and designer fashions for youths to unleash the power of attitude.
Seeking investors before got her in trouble. Such as two investigations from state securities regulators in 2001 and 2005 that led to three months in Utah County Jail for the Ogden native. She still owes her dozen investors, mostly in Utah County, some $18,000.
"That's what we're working to pay back, all the way back to 2001," Garner said. "I'm in contact with all of them."
She said her mistake with the securities division was simple ignorance, not having the right documents.
"The only thing I did wrong was not knowing how you do securities in Utah. I'm a good person," she said.
"You make your mistakes and just take your medicine and learn the hard way, then work your butt off, so we can start paying everyone off ... I've never frauded. Am I frauding now? No."
Roughly 10 years ago, her vision was the company she called Attitude Adjustment Factory, a product line of educational toys and games, tools for youths to learn the spark of attitude and positive motivation.
The big pitch was a movie and a TV show, "Tude Shifters," described as something like Teletubbies, or Power Rangers, according to court documents.
The motivational spin of attitude is the same with the current plans.
She trumpeted those plans Aug. 16, while renting the Egyptian Theater.
It was a red-carpet showing of the fashions, and videos of the emporium, Tude Shifters books, tools, card games, board games, even high-tech gadget tie-ins. Egyptian staffers said tickets sales at $5 each totalled about 100 seats. Rental of the theater is typically $1,200. As with most rentals, payment is due the theater in 30 days.
The North Ogden emporium Garner estimates will cost $10 million would have a shopping center, learning labs and a private school for grades K through 12.
And no investors, she stressed in an interview.
"I'm not selling securities. I'm interested in paying mine back, so I can feel good about myself."
She said the funds for the emporium will come from a Tude Shifters book deal her Los Angeles publicist is brokering. And from sales of her designer clothing line, which is expected to be finalized at the Sept. 5-12 Fashion Week in New York City, which she and her handful of supporters plan to attend.
A site has been chosen in North Ogden, she said, and she has retained a real estate agent.
All -- the book, the fashion line, the emporium site -- is in negotiation, she said, and therefore can't be discussed.
"We're under nondisclosure agreements on the fashion line," she said. "Same with the big publishing deal. But once the contracts are signed, you'll see a bunch of advertising."
She said her real estate agent is talking to property owners in North Ogden and won't comment on those negotiations while they are in progress.
Do the publicist, real estate agent, prospective fashion partner and book publisher know about her securities conviction?
"You betcha they do. And they know we have a great product. I didn't do anything wrong. I was young and stupid and listened to the wrong people. You get in trouble once doesn't make you a fraud."
North Ogden officials have heard nothing of the emporium plans, although they say the permitting process, planning and zoning among other details, could still be achieved on the timeline Garner said she has: start work this fall, ground-breaking early 2014.
"Nothing has been presented to the city regarding this projec," City Manager Ron Chandler said. "She could begin the planning process this fall but, without seeing an application, I don't know how long it will take before she can break ground."
She said she's not surprised city officials haven't been informed yet.
"I'm not concerned. I have no doubt it will be welcome. It will be a destination place, it will bring in travelers ... all the deals we've got going that we can't talk about will pay for it."