Utah company owner agrees to settle over $24M in clients' missing retirement funds

Associated Press

The owner of a Utah company that administers self-directed retirement accounts has agreed to settlements over the misappropriation of $24 million in clients' funds.

Curtis DeYoung accepted liability for repaying $19.8 million plus $3.5 million in interest as part of deals reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The SEC sued DeYoung and his American Pension Services company of Sandy in April, saying an investigation showed millions of dollars were missing from clients.

The court-appointed receiver says the sale of assets from DeYoung and his wife, Michelle, would contribute little, and it's unclear how much might be recovered, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1JVEvay ).

The settlements still need the approval of U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby of Salt Lake City and a majority of Security and Exchange commissioners.

DeYoung used funds for loans or investments that resulted in losses and covered the losses with false account statements, according to court documents. He's accused of recruiting new investors in order to have the funds to keep the otherwise insolvent business in operation similar to a Ponzi scheme.

DeYoung, 57, of Riverton, also is subject to a criminal investigation. The receiver, Los Angeles attorney Diane Thompson, has turned over information to the FBI, documents show.

In an "offer of settlement" from the SEC, DeYoung admitted he made investment decisions without first obtaining customers' written permission and prepared false statements that did not reflect the missing funds.

Under the proposed settlements of the lawsuit, DeYoung neither admits nor denies the allegations, but he also agrees not to publicly deny them.

His attorney, Paul Moxley, declined comment on the proposed settlements.

Michelle DeYoung has filed for divorce and is seeking to intervene in the SEC lawsuit to protect her share of the couple's assets. She is not named as a defendant in the suit.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com