Smithfield Man Accused of $3.3 Million Scam

Smithfield Man Accused of $3.3 Million Scam

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SMITHFIELD, Utah (AP) -- A Smithfield man has been charged in an alleged $3.3 million check fraud, and investigators believe millions more may be involved.

The charges were filed Monday against Paul Douglas Jensen, who reportedly ran an investment firm called Interactive Brokers from his home.

"The $3.3 million check fraud case is only the tip of the iceberg," Police Chief John McCoy said, adding that additional charges are expected.

Investigators believe more than 65 investors may have lost as much as $10 million to $15 million.

Authorities are still trying to determine where the money went.

Jensen, 50, was found in Las Vegas over the weekend and is being held there on an unrelated matter.

"We're not sure exactly why he left (Smithfield)," McCoy said. "We do know the investors were putting pressure on him to start making a full account of the investments."

Police began investigating Jensen on July 17 after receiving a complaint from an investor.

"It kind of surfaced as a result of a series of checks that this guy (Jensen) had issued to investors who were wondering about their accounts," McCoy said. "He submitted to them some dividend checks."

One of those dividend checks was refused by a local bank. When that happened, the Cache County Attorney's Office decided to file charges against Jensen. Investigators are waiting for other banks to return other checks allegedly issued by Jensen.

McCoy said an investigator from the Utah Securities Division has been assigned to the case to help local investigators. Jensen didn't have a license to sell securities and wasn't registered with the Utah Securities Division, McCoy said.

It is not known when Jensen will be extradited.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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