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Utah businessman facing fraud charges is a flight risk, state says

Utah businessman facing fraud charges is a flight risk, state says

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah businessman charged last month with communications fraud now faces more charges.

Because prosecutors consider Dwight Shane Baldwin, 34, a flight risk, a $100,000 cash-only bond has been placed on him, meaning if Baldwin wants to bail out of the Salt Lake County Jail he has to come up with a full $100,000 in cash rather than pay 10 percent of the bail, which is typical in most cases.

On April 9, Baldwin was charged in 3rd District Court with three counts of communications fraud, a second-degree felony. The case was investigated by the FBI and filed by the Utah Attorney General's Office.

Baldwin is accused of attempting to collect a loan of about $500,000 by offering collateral to prospective lenders that he knew was worthless, according to charging documents.

On April 24, a separate case was filed charging Baldwin with communications fraud and theft, second-degree felonies. Prosecutors allege in that case that Baldwin "defrauded multiple investors out of funds in excess of $14 million."

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The first time Baldwin was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, he got a bail bond company to post his bail. Because of that, prosecutors originally asked for a no bail warrant on the second case.

"The state does not feel Baldwin should be given a chance to defraud another banking institution so that he may make bail again," prosecutors wrote in court documents. "The state also feels that as charges mount against Baldwin, the odds are increased Baldwin may flee the jurisdiction to avoid prosecution."

About a month ago, prosecutors said Baldwin fled to Wyoming and returned to check himself into a mental health facility.

"The state feels Baldwin is both unstable and a threat to the public welfare if he remains at large," according to court documents.

In 2010, Baldwin was convicted of securities fraud for allegedly persuading two people to invest in a company, then diverting funds for other purposes, such as car payments, Utah Jazz season tickets, American Express bills, and restaurant meals.

He entered into a plea in abeyance after the two securities charges were dismissed and the theft charges were amended to attempted theft.

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Pat Reavy

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