SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah money manager accused of running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal wire fraud charge as part of a plea deal.
Jeffrey Lane Mowen entered the plea in Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court with an agreement to forfeit any assets gained from the scheme, including 29 cars that were not sold at public auction.
Judge Dee Benson set sentencing for April 15. His plea deal calls for a 10-year sentence followed by five years of supervised release.
After his capture last April in Panama, Mowen was jailed in Utah on three counts of wire fraud. He was later charged with three counts of witness tampering for trying to arrange the killing of four government witnesses by dictating instructions from jail phones in Morse code, according to prosecutors.
Defense attorney Stephen McCaughey said prosecutors agreed to drop the murder-for-hire charges in exchange for the plea.
"We've been working on this for a while, and it's a fair resolution for both sides," McCaughey said.
Prosecutors contend Mowen, 48, defrauded investors of about $10 million in net losses that helped him purchase nearly 200 cars.
SEmD Wire services