SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man who admitted to bilking 156 investors in "a classic Ponzi scheme" must pay back $10.2 million, the Utah Court of Appeals has affirmed.
Dee Allen Randall, now serving a prison term of at least nine and up to 30 years, cost his victims retirement savings, homes and medical care they could no longer afford.
Randall pleaded guilty in 2016 to four counts of securities fraud and one count of carrying out a pattern of unlawful activity from 2009-11, all second-degree felonies. Another 15 counts were dismissed.
Prosecutors had argued he conned about 700 people nationwide into investing more than $72 million into ventures from 2006-11. They sought about half that amount from Randall. But 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris set restitution at $10.2 million, finding Randall owed only for the criminal behavior over the two years noted in his plea agreement.
Randall's attorneys, however, contended he admitted to harming 12 victims in that time frame and owes only them a total of $1.2 million.
In the opinion released late Friday, the appeals court rejected that argument, finding Kouris had discretion to order the $10.2 million repayment. At Randall's 2017 sentencing hearing, the opinion states, he apologized to "every single investor" and noted his responsibility to repay his victims didn't stop at those listed in charging documents.
The order "will make Randall and other potential fraudsters more sensitive to greed’s cost and the real harm caused," the opinion says.