Father and Son Found Guilty in Ponzi Scheme That Cheated LDS Members Out of $100 Million
A federal jury found a Mesa father and son guilty of operating a $100 million Ponzi scheme that swindled members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Guy Williams, 42, and Brent Williams, 66, were convicted on 38 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. The two could spend 20 years in prison for each conspiracy count, and 10 years for every count of money laundering -- each charge also comes with a maximum fine of $250,000.
The Williamses set up a group of Mesa-based investment fund companies, collectively called "Mathon" entities, that were provided the front for their scam.
The father-son team attracted LDS members from Arizona, Utah, and Nevada through word of mouth from 2002 to 2005. They promised investors their money would be used for short-term loans to third-party borrowers. The borrowers would pay high interest rates on the loans, giving the investor a high return.
They stole at least $100 million from investors, using the new money coming in to pay old investors, meanwhile paying themselves inordinate salaries and making loans to companies they owned, fitting the textbook definition of a Ponzi scheme.
Guy and Brent Williams will be sentenced September 30, along with four other members from their Ponzi scheme team who pleaded guilty to their charges.