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Utah Attorney General's Office

Alan Dean McKee Sentenced to Up to 15 Years in LDS Church Impersonation Case

SALT LAKE CITY December 9, 2016  – The Utah Attorney General’s Office Mortgage and Financial Fraud Unit announces the sentencing of Alan Dean McKee, 57, of Benjamin, Utah, to 1 to 15 years in the Utah State Prison. McKee had previously entered a guilty plea to two Second Degree Felonies for his role in hatching various fraudulent schemes netting him approximately $1.2 million. McKee’s case was investigated and prosecuted by the Utah Attorney General’s Office Investigations Division in cooperation with the Utah County Attorney’s Office. A companion case against McKee’s alleged co-defendant Gary Anderson is still pending.

“The Utah Attorney General’s Office will continue to fight white collar crime as one of its top priorities,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “As the year comes to a close and we look forward to 2017, I want to commend the investigators, paralegals, attorneys and staff in our office and among our many law enforcement partners who work tirelessly to stop scams and shut down fraudsters.

“From within our office, I would like to highlight, the hard work by Che Arguello, Assistant Attorney General and Division Director of White Collar and Commercial Enforcement, and Brian Williams, Mortgage and Financial Fraud Unit Section Director, and their entire team for their success in building this case, as well as Tyson Downey, Investigator for the Utah Attorney General’s Office. These are very time intensive, difficult cases that require specialized expertise to investigate and prosecute. We are fortunate to have such excellent public servants working for the people of Utah.”

One of the McKee schemes involved telling representatives from Ames Construction that he was facilitating a project involving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, netting McKee over $300,000. McKee also defrauded two other individuals out of almost $900,000 in separate schemes involving the purchase of farm equipment. After charges were initially filed against McKee in February 2016, the Utah Attorney General’s Office discovered McKee was also involved in another fraudulent scheme. McKee had claimed to own a stretch of railroad track in Utah County and then sold the rights to remove the track for $130,000. It was later discovered the track belonged to Union Pacific Railroad, causing them approximately $175,000 in losses.

McKee was sentenced by Judge Vernice Trease of the Utah Third District Court for Salt Lake County. Judge Trease noted the complexity of the crime, the size of the loss, and the number of victims as factors she considered before ordering imprisonment. In addition to the term of incarceration, McKee was ordered to pay full restitution to all victims.

The investigation was assisted by Tyson Downey from the Investigations Division and Richard Hales from the Utah County Attorney’s Office Investigation’s Division.

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Utah Attorney General's Office

Alan Dean McKee Pleads Guilty In Connection With Scam Impersonating LDS Church Officials

SALT LAKE CITY October 18, 2016 – The Utah Attorney General’s Mortgage and Fraud Unit announced today that Alan McKee of Benjamin has pleaded guilty to one count of a Pattern of Unlawful Activity and one count of Theft, all Second Degree Felonies. A separate case against Gary Anderson of Springville is ongoing.

According to charging documents, Anderson and McKee were previously accused of defrauding Ames Construction and two individuals out of approximately $1.2 million between July 2013 and October 2015. McKee is alleged to have sent letters to Ames Construction purporting to come from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“LDS Church”) in connection with the construction of a building site in Elberta, Utah. Anderson is alleged to have assisted by making at least one phone call posing as an LDS Church official to an Ames Construction employee. McKee and Anderson were also alleged to have induced two victims to invest in a scheme to purchase excess farm equipment.

“Stopping white collar crime has always been one of my highest priorities for the Utah Attorney General’s Office,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Our investigators, paralegals, attorneys and staff work tirelessly to stop scams and shut down fraudsters.

“I appreciate the hard work by Che Arguello, Assistant Attorney General and Division Director of White Collar and Commercial Enforcement, and Brian Williams, Mortgage and Financial Fraud Unit Section Director, and their team for their hard work to build this case.”

The investigation was assisted by Tyson Downey from the Investigations Division and Richard Hales from the Utah County Attorney’s Office Investigations Division.

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Utah Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Warns Utahns of Telephone Scam Spoofing Utah State Treasurer’s Office Phone Number

Fraudulent Callers Claim to be IRS Agents Collecting Back Taxes

SALT LAKE CITY October 17, 2016 – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced today that the Office of the Attorney General has received reports of Utahns receiving fraudulent, unsolicited phone calls from aggressive individuals claiming to be IRS officials collecting back taxes. The fraudulent callers are spoofing the Utah Office of the Treasurer’s phone number (801-538-1042) to gain credibility. The Office of Utah State Treasurer does not collect taxes (federal, state or otherwise).

The fraudulent callers demand the victim immediately pay a bogus tax bill via credit card, pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim does not cooperate, they are intimidated with threats of arrest, deportation or other harmful measures.

The IRS website advises if you receive a call and do not suspect you owe federal income tax:  

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

If you receive a call and know you owe federal income tax or think you may owe federal income tax:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.  
  • Stay alert to scams using the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not only at tax time. For more information visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.

Please also feel free to contact the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-244-4636 or at https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/contact-us.

 

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Utah Attorney General's Office

Dwight Shane Baldwin Sentenced to Between Four and 30 Years

SALT LAKE CITY May 27, 2016 –The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) announced today that Dwight Shane Baldwin, more commonly known as Shane Baldwin, was sentenced to between four and 30 years for four counts of Securities Fraud and three counts of Communications Fraud, all 2nd Degree Felonies. Baldwin was prosecuted by the Mortgage and Financial Fraud Unit of the OAG after an investigation by the Utah Division of Securities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following statement in relation to the sentencing:

“It continues to be important that people verify the legitimacy of any deal or offering before ever trusting anyone, even close friends and family, with money to invest. This case is an excellent example of the damage that can be wrought upon innocent victims when trust is violated. We hope citizens will take great precautions, including checking the White Collar Fraud Offender Registry, when making investments of any sort. I cannot emphasize this enough. Fraud destroys lives. Fraud decimates families and businesses. Utahans must do everything in their power to protect themselves while we continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute fraudsters.

“We appreciate the fine work and cooperation of our partners, the Utah Division of Securities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We also thank the United States Attorney’s Office for inviting us to lead the prosecution of this case.”

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