Gavel stock

KAYSVILLE — A 73-year-old Kaysville man convicted in a $2.4 million fraud scheme has been given until Nov. 16 to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell on Sept. 22 signed terms of the judgment against Robert Glen Mouritsen spelling out penalties, imprisonment terms and probationary requirements.

Mouritsen pleaded guilty last November to one count of felony wire fraud in return for dismissal of several other similar counts.

Federal prosecutors said he duped fellow church members in his Kaysville stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to invest in a scheme he called "The Project."

Investors lost $2.4 million to him, the amount Campbell has ordered him to pay in restitution.

Campbell on Sept. 11 sentenced Mouritsen to a year in prison and ordered him to serve 36 months of supervised probation after he is released.

Campbell waived for Mouritsen a common requirement of drug testing for convicts on probation "based on the court's determination that you pose a low risk of future substance abuse."

Those who lost money in the scheme apparently have low expectations of recovering their money via restitution.

Campbell waived the requirement that Mouritsen pay interest on the restitution amount because she determined he does not have the ability to pay it.

Prosecutors said Mouritsen spent the fraud proceeds on vacations, paying off credit cards and other personal uses, although his defenders say caring for his adult autistic son was a large expense.

Mouritsen also will face a host of financial restrictions upon release from prison, such as prohibitions against starting businesses or opening financial accounts without approval of the U.S. Probation Office.

Craig Thorsted, a former U.S. Army officer and retired computer programming executive, said in a phone interview Friday he knew Mouritsen in the early 1990s.

Thorsted, a Latter-day Saint, said he and Mouritsen were in the same Kaysville church congregation, where Mouritsen was the stake president.

He said in his various dealings with Mouritsen, he became wary of him, especially after he learned Mouritsen's line of work was investment consulting.

"I did not get a good impression of him being a good spiritual leader," Thorsted said. "Even back then there appeared to be a dark side to him."

Thorsted, who now lives in Santaquin, said he has followed Mouritsen's case via news coverage.

"I always thought this was a guy who would take advantage, that there were a number of people who would be easy pickings to him. He would gain their trust and have them invest with him."

Prosecutors said the charges they filed related to fraud that began in 2006 and continued until 2018, when Mouritsen was charged.

Thirteen victims were documented in the charges.

"A lot of people liked him and are standing up for him," Thorsted said.

Mouritsen violated his pretrial release conditions by contacting and giving false assurances to one of his victims, a prosecutor said in a sentencing document, arguing for stringent parole requirements.

“Given his long history of anti-social, sociopathic behavior, the United States has legitimate concerns for the financial safety and well-being of any community in which Mouritsen lives,” the prosecutor said.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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