Man Behind Utah’s Largest Ponzi Scheme Gets 14-Year Prison Sentence

Oct 15, 2019, 8:53 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The man behind Utah’s largest Ponzi scheme was sentenced to just over 14 years in prison by a federal judge on Tuesday.

Rick Koerber was convicted last September of stealing more than $45 million from about 50 people from 2004 to 2008 in real estate deals. Over the past 10 years, there have been numerous court battles, including a dismissal and a mistrial.

Koerber spoke during his defense before the judge handed down the 170-month sentence saying, “My original idea was not to prey on Mormons or anyone. My original idea was to make a difference,” he said, responding to the judge talking about him preying on “Mormons.”

In a bizarre scene inside the courtroom, six victims stood to testify in court. But they weren’t there to speak out against Koerber — but in favor of him.

The judge stopped most of them in the middle of their testimonies saying they weren’t allowed to say anymore. One man got into a scuffle with officers and had to be carried out after refusing to step down.

“I lost a little over two million,” Clyde Long told KSL outside the courtroom. “Of course I’m in support of Rick. Anybody that’s been in real estate should know that you can make that kind of profit [what Rick was promising].”

“We lost $100,000,” Fred and Mary Colovich said. “He was honest straight forward with us never told me what I wanted to hear he told me things that I didn’t want to hear. He willingly gave us $12,000 dollars that he was never obligated to give us in an attempt to help us.”

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Man Behind Utah’s Largest Ponzi Scheme Gets 14-Year Prison Sentence