On September 20, 2018, a federal jury in the District of Utah convicted Claud R. (“Rick”) Koerber on charges of Fraud in the Offer or Sale of Securities, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering. The charges stem from a scheme Koerber ran from approximately 2004 to 2008 with his businesses Franklin Squires and Founders Capital. Through real estate seminars and other means, Koerber solicited investment in a real estate scheme he dubbed the “equity mill.” Koerber described the equity mill as the “holy grail” of real estate investing and claimed investor money would be used to make “hard money” or bridge loans to acquire residential real estate. As part of the inducement, Koerber presented his scheme as being wildly profitable and promised investors exorbitant monthly returns, typically between 1-5% per month.
In total, from 2004 to 2007, Koerber raised approximately $98.6 million for the scheme.
But, in reality, Koerber’s businesses and scheme were not profitable. And he spent only a fraction of the $98.6 million on real estate. Instead, without telling investors, Koerber used a substantial portion of the money raised to (1) make interest payments to earlier investors, (2) buy expensive cars, (3) mint his own coins, and (4) fund pet projects that included a hamburger chain, an unprofitable academy, and a movie, among other things. He also used investor money for various personal expenses, including fixing his teeth.
The Sentencing is currently scheduled for 5/13/2019 at 02:00 PM in Rm 3.100 before Judge Frederic Block. (The sentencing was previously scheduled for 5/10/2019.)