Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Probation Violation, Noncompliance w/ Jail Buyout Deal Lands Pair In Prison; Duo Used Worthless Stock To Dupe Victims Into Handing Over Title To Farms

In Fillmore, Utah, KSL-TV Channel 5 reports:

  • Two men were ordered to go back to prison after prosecutors say they swindled dairy farmers in Fillmore out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and failed to follow the rules of their probation.

  • Back in 2007, Jamis Johnson was convicted of securities fraud, along with co-defendant Paul Schwenke. Prosecutors say they sold worthless stock for American-Dairy.com. Some of their victims even handed over control of their land as payment.

  • "To take advantage of poor, rural farmers who work their lives to keep their farms going… to have two men with bad intentions take advantage of them is unbelievable," Utah Attorney General spokesman Paul Murphy said.

  • Johnson and Schwenke took in hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the judge let them stay out of prison if they worked to pay back their alleged victims and they agreed to stay away from each other.

  • "Instead, they went back to work with each other and didn't pay the victims anything," Murphy said. Murphy said some of the land the farmers handed over to Johnson and Schwenke went into foreclosure.

  • "The men took the property that they got in exchange for the stock, went to the banks, used the property as collateral and then spent all the money." Johnson will serve one to 15 years in prison. Schwenke won't be considered for release until at least 2017.

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