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West Jordan man, woman charged in $140M investment fraud scheme

West Jordan man, woman charged in $140M investment fraud scheme

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SALT LAKE CITY — A federal grand jury has returned a criminal indictment against two West Jordan residents related to an alleged $140 million investment fraud scheme.

Wayne LeMar Palmer, 60, and Julieann Martin, 47, face 48 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Both worked at National Note of Utah, a firm Palmer started in 1992.

The indictment alleges Palmer and Martin solicited more than 600 investors with false statements, including that their investments were safe and guaranteed. They also claimed National Note was profitable, generated at least 18 percent returns on investments and was never late paying an investor.

But they did not tell investors that new funds were being used to make payments to older investors and to cover company and Palmer's personal expenses, according to the indictment. National Note had not been profitable since 2007.

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Palmer and Martin also did not disclose that the majority National Note investments were with entities Palmer controlled, rather than arms-length transactions with third parties, the indictment says.

Many investors, some of whom put up retirement funds, lost all or part of their money, according to the indictment.

Palmer is charged in each of the 14 wire fraud counts and Martin is charged in 11 counts. Palmer is charged in all 17 counts of mail fraud and Martin is charged with nine. They are both charged with 17 counts of money laundering.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Palmer and National Note in 2012, alleging a Ponzi scheme.

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Dennis Romboy

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