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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Receiver Tracks Money From Ponzi Scam

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - The receiver for a busted Ponzi scam is collecting money from investors that got payouts from it. Two credit unions and a wound care center were among the businesses that profited unwittingly from the Ascendus Capital Management scam, run by Roger E. Taylor and Richard Smith, according to nine complaints in Salt Lake County Court.

The scam began in 2003, says the court-appointed receiver for Ascendus, FFCF Investors and Smith Holdings LLC.

The receiver says the investors gave from $12,000 to $200,000 apiece to the Ponzi men, who used new money, rather than real profits, to pay off previous investors. At one point, FFCF and Ascendus had $7.6 million in investments but needed to pay off $12.8 million promised to investors. Smith and Taylor took from 10 percent to 30 percent of the monthly "profits" they claimed, according to the complaints.

Though Ascendus lost money, it "reported an unending stream of profits" beginning in July 2003, and Taylor and Smith dipped their beaks, but "When Taylor decided to report profits for that month perhaps hoping to make up the losses in future months, he started Ascendus on a downward spiral from which it never recovered," according to the complaints. "The losses were never made up and the monthly account statements issued by Ascendus, and later, FFCF, became increasingly fraudulent."

The receiver seeks money in varying amounts from, among others, Family First Federal Credit Union, Allied Telesis, Utah Community Federal Credit Union, Logistic Management Corp., Kays Creek Capital Management, TDI Energy Partners, Tripod Holdings, Sancuro Wound Care Systems and Bush & Sons Capital.

Receiver R. Wayne Klein is represented by L.R. Curtis with Manning, Curtis, Bradshaw & Bednar.

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