IDAHO FALLS MAN CHARGED IN $20 MILLION INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEME
The U.S. Attorney's Office filed an information in U.S. District Court in Pocatello on Wednesday, charging Daren Palmer, 42, of Idaho Falls, with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced. Palmer is scheduled to appear in federal court in Pocatello on May 26 in connection with the information.
The two count information alleges that from 2002 through December 2008, Palmer owned and operated Trigon Group LLC in Idaho Falls, and that he solicited clients to invest money in the Trigon Group. The information further alleges that Palmer made various misrepresentations to clients, including misrepresentations that the investments had a 20% to 25% rate of return, that the investments had little or no risk, and that Palmer had a ten year track record of success. The information also alleges that Palmer willfully failed to disclose to investors that prior investments had not paid a return, that current returns would be paid from funds raised from other investors, and that investor funds would be used to pay Palmer's personal expenses. The information alleges that Palmer used investor funds for his own use and caused investors to lose in excess of $20 million.
Palmer is also alleged to have committed money laundering by using investor money to make a personal purchase of $110,550 from a jewelry store.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000. Money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.
An information is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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