63 year old Dee Allen Randall of Fruit Heights is alleged to have defrauded 700 people out of more than $72 million by recruiting clients to invest money and then using their funds to pay previous investors. Randall is the former owner of Horizon Mortgage and Investments, Horizon Insurance and several other businesses. He declared bankruptcy in 2010.
"It's long overdue," Ogden attorney Steven Bailey told ABC 4 News about the charges. "Mr. Randall should have been accountable several years back. This thing has been ongoing and investigated before."
Bailey represents several clients that claim to have lost money to Randall. Some gave him their entire life savings based on promises of high returns.
"These are people who counted on this money or their return, the investment return, the interest return so they could buy their medications, pay their utilities, to pay their rent, to eat and that's the tragedy of this, the human tragedy," Bailey said. "Many times these white collar criminals are more devastating than other types of crimes even though the court is not as aggressive with these white collar crimes."
In a press release, Utah Securities Director Keith Woodwell said: "Dee Randall's massive alleged ponzi scheme is a harsh reminder that all of us need to be very careful where we put our money no matter our age or the size of our nest egg."
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes added: "Although Utah is known as a national leader for our robust economy and business friendly environment, we are also extremely vulnerable to fraud - especially affinity fraud."
Randall is alleged to have used his positions in the business community and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to gain trust from his investors. One of his neighbors told ABC 4 News that 18 members of his LDS ward had invested money with Randall.
Another man from a different city who invested money in one of Randall's auto loan businesses said "I'd like to get my hands on him."
The investor who wishes to remain anonymous said he's embarrassed that he believed Randall's pitch, made after Randall declared bankruptcy.
"Chances are he's drivin' some nice car still and he's livin' in a house that he still owns," the man said. "So they need to go take that house away from him, take his cars away from him and make him go out and buy a bus pass and ride the bus. That's what I want to say to him. I mean, I'd love to say a lot more."
There was no answer at the front door of Randall's Fruit Heights home on Wednesday evening and his attorney did not immediately return a phone message left at his office. A neighbor said the last time he saw Randall was Sunday at Church.
When Randall is found or surrenders to authorities, he will have a $100,000 bail.
The investor ABC 4 spoke with said he's been told there's little chance of ever getting any of his money back.
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