This Blog was formed by members of the Securities Litigation Group at Ray Quinney & Nebeker, and is managed by the chair of the group, Mark W. Pugsley. Every day we get phone calls from people here in Utah who have lost significant sums of money — and in many cases their entire life savings — after investing with friends, ward members and even family members. This is often described as affinity fraud.
The purpose of this Blog is to highlight fraudulent schemes that are happening here in Utah, and provide people with tools and information to protect themselves from it. We hope that you will not have to hire us, but if you found this blog because you have suffered financial losses through investments, loans or other types of money-making enterprises, we may be able to help.
The new website run by the Utah Division of Securities offers these warning signs for anyone who is considering an investment with a friend, family member or church member:
- Are you being offered the opportunity to invest because of your membership or relationship to an affinity group?
- Are respected group members or their names and positions being used to promote the investment?
- Are you being asked to make an investment decision based on your trust in the group whether it is being asked directly or merely implied?
- Is the person offering you the opportunity to invest emphasizing your membership in the group?
- Are you being asked to trust in the legitimacy of the investment because of your relationship or membership?
- Are you being encouraged to invest by the fact that other members of the group have invested?
- Are you being encouraged not to report any suspected fraudulent conduct by members in your group?
If you have had these thing happen to you, watch out. Always do your homework on any investment (regardless of who is offering it) and keep careful notes and records of statements made by the person soliciting the investment.
And remember, if it sounds too good to be true — it probably is!
© 2011 Mark W. Pugsley, all rights reserved.