Fordham Sentenced To 72 Months In Federal Prison For Mail Fraud Scheme With More Than 1,693 Victims
Many Victims of His Fraud Are Elderly and Disabled
SALT LAKE CITY – Daron Howell Fordham, age 50, of Las Vegas, Nevada, who pleaded guilty to six counts of mail fraud in connection with a scheme that defrauded more than 1,693 victims nationwide, will serve 72 months in federal prison. Many of the victims of the fraud are elderly and disabled.
Fordham pleaded guilty earlier this year to all counts included in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in October 2018. The plea agreement included a stipulated sentence of 72 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson also ordered Fordham to pay $1,834,033,14 in restitution in the case. The six victims of the mail fraud counts in the case are between 65 and 91 years old.
“Crimes against the elderly target some of the most vulnerable people in our society. No one is immune from these schemes,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today. “We are continuing our efforts to help older adults and senior citizens recognize the signs of financial fraud schemes. This effort is one of the top priorities for the Department of Justice and my office.”
Fordham, aka Southboy, Daron Destiny, Paul Park, James Parker, Daron Howell and Darren Fordham opened a private mailbox at the UPS Store in Park City in May 2014, using the business name Park Publishers and Distributors. He requested that all mail received at the mailbox be forwarded to his address in California.
He used the mail to send promotional materials to individuals throughout the United States, including residents of Utah. The mailers offered an opportunity to make money through a “direct partner program” called “Paul Park’s Profit Program” and listed the Park City mailbox as the company address for responses. Fordham’s mailers induced people to send money to the Park City mailbox. The mail was forwarded to Fordham in California. Other individuals made electronic payments.
Fordham made fraudulent claims and guarantees to induce individuals to invest, including “I’ll show you how you can earn up to 976% return (or more) on your money in less than 120 days… And without you even having to lift a finger to do work at all.” He also encouraged them to invest in the printing and mailing of “our hot-selling FREE CRUISE FOR TWO VOUCHERS (sample included with the letter) that are used by businesses all across the country.”
Fordham told investors “WE DO ALL THE WORK! You decide how many Mailing Spots you want now and you’ll receive your Principal Check and PROFIT Check in less than 90 days. Trust me. You’ll be upset if you miss this one.”
He told investors they could get more than a 1,000% return on their money by investing $500 and getting a return of $5,570.
After about six months, he closed the mailbox in Park City and disconnected the 1-800 number, leaving victims unable to reach him. He never sent them vouchers or returned any money he received from the victims, despite receiving heartfelt letters requesting a refund.
The six mail fraud counts of conviction relate to the Park City financial fraud scheme. Fordham. Fordham obtained at least $203,866.25 through the Park Publishers fraudulent promotional scheme.
In 2014, Fordham had at least eight different variations of this scheme ongoing using different names, private mailboxes, and phone numbers. He continued to operate his fraudulent schemes until his Nov. 9, 2018, arrest in Las Vegas. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement officers found an apartment full of promotional material similar to the Park Publishers scheme but with different variations. Fordham was operating schemes called “Monster Gift Cards” and “AGS Gift Cards.”
The total loss amount from his schemes is $1,834,003.14.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Salt Lake City investigated the case.