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SPRINGVILLE — More criminal charges were filed Monday in connection with a defunct camping trailer business accused of bilking customers out of nearly $1 million.
Harrison Ashley Grimes, 26, of Vineyard, was charged in 4th District Court by the Utah Attorney General's Office with engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity and 11 counts of communications fraud, both second-degree felonies.
Grimes is the son of Benjamin Ashley Grimes, who was accused in 2019 of selling a trailer he was supposed to be repairing for a customer and pocketing insurance money. Grimes was also charged in July with engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity.
Grimes was the owner of Moby1 Expedition Trailer in Springville, a company that manufactured custom-made recreational trailers. The company closed in 2018 and filed for bankruptcy.
According to charging documents, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection received 40 complaints from customers who claimed they made substantial down payments but never received their trailer or a refund. From April 2015 through December 2018, Moby1 collected more than $888,000 in deposits "for trailers that were never delivered to the customer," the charges state.
By the time Moby1 closed its doors for good, the company "had not delivered a trailer or made a refund of deposit to 39 of the complainants," according to the charges.
Harrison Grimes "worked under the direction of and with the knowledge" of his father, the charges state, and both men "jointly engaged in and supported one another in the commission of these offenses including efforts to conceal from customers the existence of the scheme or artifice to defraud customers."
Prosecutors say most of the trailers cost over $35,000 and in many cases over $40,000. The Grimes would require customers to pay 50% of the cost as a deposit, and then offered "expedited" delivery for an additional fee, according to the charges.
"In each instance, the customer was never told that there was a growing line of customers who were told the same timeline for receipt of a trailer but had not received a trailer," the charges state.
In some cases, customers were shown pictures of a trailer allegedly being built for them, "only to later discover that the trailer they were shown went to another customer or which was never delivered without explanation from the co-defendants," according to the charges.