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Sean D. Reyes
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Utah Attorney General’s Office Announces the Sentencing of Dee Allen Randall

SALT LAKE CITY  February 7, 2017 – The Utah Attorney General’s Office announces the sentencing of Dee Allen Randall in one of the largest frauds ever investigated by the Utah Division of Securities. Randall was sentenced on Monday in the Third District Court of Utah by the Honorable Judge Mark Kouris to multiple consecutive terms. He will serve a sentence of 9 to 30 years in prison.  

The damage done by Dee Randall—financially, emotionally, psychologically, and to the health of victims—can never be fully undone.  But I hope this conviction and sentence sends the message to all perpetrators in Utah that we will find and aggressively prosecute those who prey on the vulnerable and who defraud honest, hard-working Utahns,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “I congratulate Assistant Attorney General Jake Taylor, Paralegal Sheree Wilcox, and the rest of the White Collar and Commercial Enforcement Division of the Utah Office of Attorney General for their outstanding work on this case.  We are also grateful for the invaluable efforts of our partners at the Utah Division of Securities in this case.  Finally, we thank legislators from both parties for having the vision and commitment to fund assets toward increased investigation and prosecution of white-collar crime.”  

“Dee Randall is one of the most damaging white-collar cases our Division of Securities has ever investigated. Randall preyed on friends, neighbors and used insurance agents under him to funnel investors into his scheme which destroyed the lives and nest eggs of 700 victims, many of whom were elderly, “said Francine A. Giani, Executive Director, Utah Department of Commerce, “We are grateful for the tireless efforts of the Utah Attorney General’s Office, for 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris’ swift justice and a special thanks to the victims for having the courage to share their stories with the court.”

In 2016, Randall was convicted by plea of multiple counts of securities fraud and a pattern of unlawful activity for operating his insurance-based Ponzi scheme. In Monday’s sentencing, Judge Kouris’ sentenced Randall to three consecutive sentences of 3 to 15 years in prison.  In addition, Randall was sentenced to additional concurrent prison terms of 3 to 15 years and 1 to 15 years.

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AG Reyes Statement on Passing of UPD Detective Holdaway

SALT LAKE CITY February 2, 2017 – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement on the passing of Unified Police Department Detective Brian Holdaway.          

“Detective Brian Holdaway was a valuable member of our ICAC team for a number of years, and we feel his loss deeply. I offer the sincere condolences of our whole office to Detective Holdaway’s family, as well as to Sheriff Winder and the Unified Police Department.”

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Attorney General Sean Reyes’ Statement on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

SALT LAKE CITY January 16, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following Martin Luther King Jr. Day statement:  

“We in the Utah AGO are deeply appreciative to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as we join our nation in celebrating his life and work today. He was a great American, willing to turn us towards the better angels of our nature while he faced the demons of discrimination.

“Dr. King is probably best remembered by the casual observer for his soaring speeches that moved so many by the strength and majesty of his words. While that was an important element of his allure, it was what underlied those words that was truly remarkable: his courage, conviction, and commitment to lifting all people from oppression.

“He took his own pain and generations of suffering from his people and channeled it into an energy that transformed him into a supernova of change and progress. And our country is the better for it. It was true a half-century ago when he delivered his ‘I have a dream’ speech to the 250,000 people who had joined him for the March on Washington and it is equally true today as we strive to fulfill the hope and promise of his words.

“In many ways, the dream that Dr. King spoke of was the same one that brought the pilgrims to America, that drove the Founding Fathers to declare their independence, that prompted Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, and that continues to urge us forward today as we reach out the hand of fellowship to the afflicted and weary, the vulnerable and the weak. It was this dream–this hope–that brought my father to America to escape political persecution and that motivated my mother, a career educator, to fight for equal educational opportunity in at-risk and inner city environments.

“As a nation set on a hill, we have been blessed with great prosperity, and yet, there remains work to do. Whether it is providing shelter to the homeless, aid to refugees here and abroad, seeking to give relief to those in addiction’s grasp, finding long-term solutions to intergenerational poverty, or continuing the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking, with each stride forward we seek to fulfill the dream of Dr. King.

“Dr. King once said that ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ It is my hope, and my own dream, that Americans will always be willing to stand for what is right at all times. As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and seek to bring about a nation where children are judged not ‘by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,’ only continued remembrance of where we have come from, and where we are going, will bring us to that day when Dr. King’s great dream is brought fully to life.”

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Utah Attorney General’s Office Welcomes SCOTUS Review of WOTUS Case

SALT LAKE CITY January 14, 2017 – The Utah AGO announced that that the Supreme Court had granted review of the controversial “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense.  Utah is among 27 states who have challenged the Obama EPA’s WOTUS rule expanding federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The WOTUS rule would make tributaries and other small waters subject to federal jurisdiction and pollution control laws.

 “This rule is a remnant of the Obama Administration’s unprecedented expansion of federal regulation through agencies like the EPA, passed by executive fiat, without consent of Congress and contrary to the will of the people. This rule, if not struck down in its entirety, will cause tremendous damage to our state, our economy, our families and our way of life, which is why we’ve joined this case,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.  “The massive proposed expansion of control by the EPA would bring many roadside ditches, small ponds on family farms, water features on golf courses and stormwater systems under extremely burdensome and unnecessary federal regulation.”

The Supreme Court will examine in National Association of Manufacturers a jurisdictional decision concerning where challenges to the controversial WOTUS rule should be filed. Specifically, the case concerns whether, under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the courts of appeal or federal district courts have jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the lawfulness of the WOTUS rule.

Under current federal law, challenges to some decisions made under the CWA must be filed in federal district courts, while others may be filed in the courts of appeals. In February, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held it could hear a challenge to the WOTUS rule even though it does not appear that this kind of challenge is available. The Supreme Court will review this decision.

It’s important to note that the Supreme Court will not be hearing a challenge to the substance of the WOTUS rule in this case.  At issue before the Court is whether the initial challenge to the substance of the rule should be heard, in the first instance, in an appeals or a district court.

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Utah Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Sean Reyes’ Statement on National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

SALT LAKE CITY January 10, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Last night, the Utah Attorney General’s Office in partnership with Refugee & Immigrant Center-Asian Association of Utah, and Engage Now Africa hosted Dr. Kevin Bales, professor, author, social scientist, and human rights activist as the Ambassador Price & Marcia Price World Affairs Lecture Series guest in January.

Following AG Reyes statement you will find a list of individuals who are available for comment on this topic for interested media throughout the month. The individuals are organized according to the area upon which they are most qualified to comment.

“We will continue the fight to eradicate the tragedy of human trafficking in Utah and beyond our borders,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “As we recognize National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month throughout January, Utah is poised to continue as a leader nationally and globally against the scourge of human trafficking. With a grant from the federal government, the Utah Trafficking In Persons (UTIP) Task Force focuses on a victim-centered and trauma-informed approach to ending human trafficking in our state. UTIP’s interdisciplinary, multi-agency approach has made Utah a leader against human trafficking, taking down predators in their tracks and liberating victims.

“It is critical every American understands that human trafficking can be found in any community — rural or urban, wealthy or modest. It does not discriminate by wealth or station in its victimization of people of all backgrounds. We must protect our youth and other vulnerable citizens.

“We thank the citizens of Utah for raising their voices to educate the world about this epidemic. We thank legislators and other public officials, law enforcement leaders, victim advocates, physicians, businesses, media partners, and so many others for allocating scarce resources to the fight against modern slavery.  

“We also recognize Utah organizations such as Fahodie & Friends, Backyard Broadcast and the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to Operation Underground Railroad and Fight the New Drug along with sundry other groups and individuals who educate the public, liberate victims and heal survivors of these atrocities. 

“Utah thanks international partners like Polaris Project, the Trafficking in America Taskforce, Engage Now Africa, Airline Ambassadors, Truckers Against Trafficking, Halleh Seddighzadeh, PhD, of ARMAN, and so many others for their dedication to combating trafficking. 

“The eradication of human trafficking should be a priority for all who value virtue and freedom. As a humanitarian issue, ending human trafficking transcends political and ideological differences. It is critical for Utah and all states to work even more closely with law enforcement, various first responders, and the communities who come in contact with human trafficking victims to combat modern-day slavery.

“I am very grateful for the hard and often unsung work by law enforcement investigators, both in the AGO and from our sister agencies, working hand-in-hand to surveil and bring down traffickers, as well as for the lawyers and support staff who prosecute the perpetrators. We will not rest until human trafficking is ended.”

The following individuals are available for comment for stories on modern slavery and human trafficking during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month.


Russell Smith – Utah Attorney General’s Office

SECURE Section Director

(801) 281-1218 


Nate Mutter – Utah Attorney General’s Office


Dr. Kathy Franchek – University of Utah School of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 


Dr. Corey Rood – University of Utah/Center for Safe & Healthy Families, Primary Children’s Hospital Professor of Pediatrics 



Terry Palmer 


Elizabeth Hendrix – Refugee & Immigrant Center 

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Utah Attorney General

Utah AG Reyes Expresses Support for Utah Law Enforcement

SALT LAKE CITY January 9, 2017 – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement of support for Utah law enforcement personnel on Utah Law Enforcement Day.

We in the Utah Attorney General’s Office applaud the designation of January as Law Enforcement Appreciation Month in Utah. It is time that our state joins the national tradition of recognizing with special celebrations and commemorations our men and women in law enforcement and their families every first month of the year.

“Our men and women in blue are some of the greatest public servants we have. They deserve the highest respect and appreciation we can impart. Sadly, many of them today are disrespected, reviled, and even targeted for harm by some of the people they protect.  It is an honor for me and my team to work side-by-side with the law enforcement agents in the Utah Attorney General’s Office who bring tremendous expertise to handle some of the most complex investigations in Utah.  It is equally a privilege for our office to work on task forces and in the field with federal, state, county, city, and tribal officers who all make up our law enforcement family.  

“Like all other professions, law enforcement can find ways to improve and still has significant challenges to overcome in rebuilding trust with many communities. Like other professions, law enforcement will always have some bad actors who do not represent the vast majority of hard working, dedicated and honorable men and women within its ranks. However, unlike most professions, law enforcement professionals put their lives, their physical health, and their mental and emotional well-being on the line every day for our protection and safety.

“This month, as we celebrate together the contributions of the officers who make up the ‘thin blue line,’ our hope is that law enforcement and the communities they protect may come together to rebuild trust and strengthen ties.  To that end, with the support of the legislature and executive branch, the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety are proud to announce the completion of the first year of statewide law enforcement de-escalation and critical incident training.

“We have already trained hundreds of officers and scores of agencies to minimize or eliminate violent confrontations with citizens.  The training curriculum includes live-action scenarios in a state-of-the-art virtual simulator combined with education on how to more effectively interface with individuals and groups from minority, refugee and non-English speaking communities and people with disabilities or mental health challenges.  This training not only prepares officers to better protect themselves, it much more effectively equips them to protect those they encounter in high-stress situations. Our hope is that it will drastically lessen the chances of citizens or officers being lost to violent interactions.

“Far too many of our uniformed men and women have lost their lives in the service of their communities. For those of us who have stood at vigils in the nation’s capital, at funeral services around the state or at services at the Fallen Law Officer’s Memorial, you cannot witness such sacrifice without a profound appreciation for those fallen and their families.  May God bless our officers with health, protection, honor, discernment, good judgment and humility.  My prayers go with them and their families every day.”

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Attorney General Reyes Statement on Carl McGown

SALT LAKE CITY December 30, 2016 – Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement upon the death of former Brigham Young University men’s volleyball coach Carl McGown.

“To lose two Hall of Fame coaches on consecutive days is quite a loss to Brigham Young University and the sports world.

“Coach Carl McGown was a fierce competitor and an incredible innovator, recruiter and tactician. His success building champions started from his youth camps all the way to the highest level of international competition. Bringing national championships to the State of Utah and Brigham Young University and winning gold medals and international respect for the US National Team are part of his legendary legacy as a coach. Raising a family that has continued playing and coaching while contributing to their communities is a part of his legacy as a father.

“Coach was a dominant player in his time, leading his BYU squads as an All-American and then playing at the world level. After playing, he built a powerhouse team in Laie, Hawaii as head coach for the Church College of Hawaii. Later, in addition to winning national titles at BYU, he coached 18 All-Americans. As a national team coach, he helped lead the USA to three Olympic gold medals, a number of world championships and many other Olympic and world top three finishes.

“I wish I had been able to play more for Coach McGown. He influenced dramatically my collegiate volleyball career as he has for many players much more talented and accomplished than me around the world. He took a first-year Division I team my freshman year that went 2-27 and built a dominant NCAA champion. He was often underrated and overlooked by those outside the sport but within the USA and world volleyball community, he was as revered as other iconic names such as Al Scates and Marv Dunphy.

“I will always remember his very straightforward, no nonsense approach. One day, after a particularly underwhelming workout, he shook his head saying, “Reyes, you are no Karch Kiraly.”

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Attorney General Reyes Statement on LaVell Edwards

SALT LAKE CITY December 29, 2016 – Attorney General Sean Reyes issued the following statement upon the death of former Brigham Young University football coach LaVell Edwards.

“On the passing of legendary Coach LaVell Edwards, our deepest sympathies and fondest alohas go out to Patty and Coach’s whole family. Based on how the Edwards family treats everyone, nearly the whole state seems to be part of their family — whether you played for BYU, rooted for them, or even played against them.

“Coach LaVell Edwards is such a larger-than-life icon to so many of us that this day seemed like it could never really come. The State of Utah and the world have lost one of the truly remarkable ones in sport. His name will always be on the list of greatest college football coaches of all time.

“No person in Utah has done more for athletics locally and nationally as a competitor, a coach, and an ambassador for sports and our state. Neither BYU nor our state will be quite the same without his presence. The reach of his coaching tree and influence is expansive.

“Coach Edwards put BYU athletics on the map. But the legacy of his career was not just one of incredible success, consistency, and longevity on the field. Even more important, he was a family man, a community champion, a military veteran, a missionary for his faith, and a father figure and mentor to so many who came through his football program.

“He was one of the classiest and most gentlemanly leaders you could ever meet. From the time I first met him my freshman year of college until the last time I saw him recently, he was wise, accessible, funny and genuinely interested in my welfare. I will always remember him taking time to talk to the fanboys and “little guys” like me.

“He was often referred to as “a classic.”  And he was — in many respects. He had a classic approach to the game of football, to winning the right way and deflecting attention from himself, and to nurturing young men. And he certainly he had his share of “classic” games and wins. 

“Farewell Coach, we love you! While you never left college football to pursue professional offers during your career, we know you will do fine at the next level now.”


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Utah AG Sean Reyes Condemns President Obama’s Designation of Bears Ears National Monument

Utah AGO working closely with the Governor’s office, legislators, and  
San Juan County to file a lawsuit challenging the national monument designation.

SALT LAKE CITY December 28, 2016 – In a statement today, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes condemned President Obama’s designation of a Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County, Utah.

“It is extremely disappointing that President Obama has declared another national monument here in Utah, ignoring the voices of so many in our state, particularly those closest to the designated space. By significantly restricting access to a large portion of public lands in Utah, the President weakens land management capabilities and fails to protect those the Antiquities Act intended to benefit.

“The sacred tribal areas in and around Bears Ears should absolutely be protected but in a way that is legally sound and that makes sense. A national monument in San Juan County does not preserve the land but divests it from the very people for whom it is sacred. The local Navajo will no longer be able to gather medicine or firewood, graze cattle, hunt, maintain their livelihoods or access the mountain heights for their religious ceremonies.

“The Antiquities Act was passed to protect archaeological sites from pillage by treasure hunters with narrow, focused designations of thousands of acres or only what was absolutely necessary. It has turned into a tool for the Executive Branch to bypass proper Congressional authority, to designate millions of acres at a time and far beyond what is necessary to preserve sacred sites.

“Rather than shut out local residents, the Administration should look for ways to strengthen schools, pave roads, and build the local economy. Instead, it rides roughshod over repeatedly expressed local concerns and exceeds the law’s scope as intended by Congress when it passed the Antiquities Act over a century ago.

“My office is working closely with the Governor’s office, federal and state legislators, and San Juan County to file a lawsuit challenging this egregious overreach by the Obama Administration. This case is different from other past challenges by states and counties and we are confident in our chances of success. But the courtroom is not our only option. Our federal delegation is working hard to defund the designation or rescind it altogether. Additionally, we look forward to working with the new Presidential Administration on ways to curtail or otherwise address the designation.

“Utah’s public lands deserve stewardship, but through the appropriate avenue of Congressional action with real participation of state, local and tribal leaders.”


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Utah Attorney General's Office

AG Reyes Thanks Werner Haidenthaller for Years of Service

Werner Haidenthaller is retiring after 30 years of public service

SALT LAKE CITY December 27, 2016 – After 10 years with the Utah Attorney General’s Office and over 30 years of public service for the state of Utah, Werner Haidenthaller will retire at the end of 2016. Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement on Heidenthaller’s retirement today:

“Werner’s understanding and ability with the Utah AGO budget have been an indispensable asset to our office and to the state of Utah,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Just weeks before the 2014 legislative session, as I took over what was then an embattled office, Werner stepped forward to pick up the slack, helped us increase compensation for the employees of the office, and ensured that the AGO would have the budget necessary to deliver not just the constitutional minimum of legal services to the state but the highest level of legal services possible while empowering top tier professionals in house and recruiting additional ones.”

Werner began his career in the Legislative Auditor’s Office, conducting operational and programmatic audits of state agencies.  Later he joined the Utah Geological Survey as a budget and accounting officer, eventually becoming the Associate Director. In 1997, Werner joined the Utah Department of Workforce Services where he served in positions of increasing responsibility, starting as Budget and Accounting Manager, Finance Director, and finally Budget/Accounting/Facilities/Risk Manager. In 2006, Werner was hired as the Administration/Budget Director for the Utah Office of the Attorney General, where he has managed the budget for the “largest law office in the state,” with a $65 million budget and over 430 employees in 15 offices throughout the state. At the Utah AGO, Werner is a valued member of the Executive team, advising Attorney General Reyes on all financial and administrative matters. He also worked closely with the Governor’s office and the Utah State Legislature, and their staff on all budgetary, financial and administrative matters related to the Attorney General’s office.

In his private life, Werner enjoys spending time with his family and in the outdoors, whether it is hiking or skiing, and remodels homes in his spare time. He will be missed at the Utah Attorney General’s Office and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

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