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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Cache Valley Resident Charged In Fraud Scheme, Allegations Include Diverting $462,000 From Vulnerable Victim

SALT LAKE CITY –Thomas Fairbanks, age 66, of Logan, Utah, who faces a five-count indictment alleging he devised schemes to defraud investors, including a vulnerable adult, will be in federal court Dec. 5, 2019, at 10:15 a.m. for an initial appearance.  The indictment alleges Fairbanks devised a scheme to defraud investors using materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and omissions of material facts.

As a part of the scheme, Fairbanks earned the trust of a vulnerable older adult, identified as B.D. in the indictment, and diverted at least $462,000 of her money for his personal use and benefit.  B.D. is unmarried, has no children, and is in her 80s.

According to the indictment, Fairbanks was the founder and CEO of SupplyLine Partners, an unregistered business. The company maintains a website, which purports to provide marketing, administrative, and other business support services.  It has never been registered to issue securities, the indictment alleges.  Fairbanks is involved in other business entities.

Fairbanks offered and sold an investment opportunity in SupplyLine to B.D. and a couple, identified as J.H. and R.H., in the indictment.  Fairbanks accepted $45,500 in cash from these victims, promising them a 6 percent return – or their money back. According to the indictment, investment contracts are securities.

Fairbanks made a number of misrepresentations to the investors, including telling them assets of other business collateralized their investment, they could liquidate their investments at any time, they would receive an accounting of their investment, and the funds would go toward SupplyLine’s business efforts – among other things.

In an effort to induce further investments, the indictment alleges Fairbanks began giving investment and financial advice to B.D.  B.D. opened a joint personal checking and savings account with Fairbanks using her money.  The indictment alleges B.D. believed Fairbanks would help manage her finances, deal with her finances in her best interest, not put her money at substantial risk, and help her write checks. The $462,000 he diverted from B.D.’s account is in addition to the $40,000 she invested in SupplyLine.

Fairbanks utilized his interests in other business entities to receive the misappropriated funds, the indictment alleges.

Combatting financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah. Together with federal, state, local and tribal partners, the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to combatting financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public engagement efforts.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah recently collaborated with the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services to provide training on financial fraud and elder abuse for more than 100 law enforcement officers in Utah.

Fairbanks faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the wire fraud counts (two counts), up to five years for each count of securities fraud (two counts), and up to 10 years for the money laundering count.  Indictments are not findings of guilt.  Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case.  The Utah Division of Securities along with special agents of the FBI are investigating the case.

 

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Component(s): 
Updated November 26, 2019