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Press Release

Utah Married Couple Running a Gun and Ammo Shop, Arrested and Indicted After Deceitfully Obtaining Over $600,000 from Customers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah
Through fraud conspiracy, defendants obtained over $500,000 in charitable donations meant to benefit Ukrainian first responders serving in war zones

St. George, Utah – An indictment was unsealed today by the federal court in St. George following the arrest of a husband and wife in Utah County after a federal grand jury returned an indictment on April 9, 2024. The indictment charges the duo with financial crimes after they allegedly ran a gun and ammunition business and defrauded customers and financial firms of over $600,000. 

According to court documents, John Earl Donaldson, 31, and his wife, Carlie Elizabeth Winters, 29, of Saratoga Springs, Utah, conspired together from December 2021 through January 2023 to illegally obtain money from customers of Urban Armz, LLC. Donaldson and Winters owned and operated Urban Armz, LLC. Through false pretenses, Donaldson and Winters allegedly lied about Urban Armz’s inventory and ability to procure goods for which customers paid. Additionally, Donaldson and Winters fraudulently obtained money from financial firms through false pretenses. 

In furtherance of the crime, the Urban Armz website claimed that the business maintained an office in St. George, when it did not. The website also falsely claimed that the “company clients” included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. 

As alleged in the indictment, Donaldson falsely represented that he could sell large quantities of ammunition to potential customers for competitively low prices. In December 2021, a customer wired $90,000 to Urban Armz for 300,000 rounds of ammunition. Urban Armz never delivered the ammunition. Instead, Donaldson and Winters spent the customer’s funds on transfers to unrelated parties, shopping, credit card payments, and other withdrawals. 

In April 2022, a company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, paid Urban Armz $300,000 through wire transfers for body armor it intended to donate to Ukraine first responders in war zones. Urban Armz never delivered the body armor. In June 2022, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Ukrainian immigrants and refugees living in the United States paid Urban Armz $217,098.98 for night vision goggles, thermal optics, and other equipment for Ukrainian first responders serving in war zones. Again, Urban Armz did not deliver the equipment and instead Donaldson and Winters spent the money on unrelated parties, shopping and other things. 

Donaldson and Winters are charged with wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Their initial court appearance on the indictment was April 14, 2024, at the United States District Courthouse in St. George, Utah. 

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

The case is being investigated by the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office. 

Assistant United States Attorney Stephen P. Dent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah is 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
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Updated April 15, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-42