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Press Release

Alleged Business Scammers Indicted After Nationwide Scheme to Defraud Investors, Including Elderly, of More than $30M

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah – A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned an indictment charging seven defendants, including the founder and former President of Noah’s Event Venue in South Jordan, Utah, with 18 counts of wire fraud.  

According to court documents, from January 2015 through May 2019, William J. Bowser, 60, of Hendersonville, North Carolina; Christopher J. Ashby, 49, of Salt Lake County, Utah; Scott W. Beynon, 46, of Davis County, Utah; Jordan S. Nelson, 42, of Salt Lake County, Utah; Scott L. Rutherford, 51, of Utah County, Utah; John D. Hamrick, 64, of Franconia, New Hampshire and the Vice President and Director of  Edmund and Wheeler Inc., which is also named as a defendant in the indictment, conspired together to engage in a nationwide scheme to defraud investors. The victims, who were mostly retired and elderly individuals, were defrauded of more than $30,000,000 after being induced by the defendants to invest in Noah Event Centers.  As alleged in the indictment, Noah Event Centers were, collectively, an unprofitable enterprise sustained only through infusions of new investor funds. The defendants did not use investor funds as promised in their marketing materials, purchase agreements and related representations. Instead, they misappropriated and diverted investor funds meant for the development and construction of new event centers to pay large commissions, Noah’s operations, prior investors, construction costs of other event centers, and rents on previously sold Noah Event Centers. As part of their alleged scheme, the defendants used the internet, telephone, email, and other means to promote, offer and sell fractional Tenant-in-Common interests in five Noah Event Centers through the use of a network of financial planners, 1031 exchange specialists, real estate brokers and other salespeople, using glossy marketing materials showing pictures of beautifully constructed buildings and promising impressive long-term financial returns.

Bowser, and his co-conspirators are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. The defendants are scheduled for their initial court appearance on September 14, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. in courtroom 8.4 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City. 

U.S. Attorney, Trina A. Higgins, of the District of Utah made the announcement.

The case is being investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

Assistant United States Attorneys Cy H. Castle, Stewart M. Young, Stephen P. Dent and Peter Kuhn for the District of Utah are prosecuting the case. 

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 


Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
(801) 325-3237
USAO-UT | Facebook | Twitter

Updated August 28, 2023

Elder Justice
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-59