Salt Lake City Woman Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Investment Fraud Scheme
Ordered to Pay More Than $11 Million in Restitution to Victims
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 13, 2013|
SALT LAKE CITY—Emilee Peterson Buckley, age 39, of Salt Lake City, will serve five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to three counts of wire fraud in connection with an investment fraud scheme she operated as the owner of Calypso Financial LLC in Salt Lake City.
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson imposed the sentence Friday. As a part of the sentencing hearing, Judge Benson ordered Buckley to pay $11,272,908.74 in restitution in the case. Buckley, who pleaded guilty to all charges in an indictment returned in 2010, will be allowed to self-surrender to begin serving her prison sentence.
As a part of the plea agreement, Buckley admitted that from January 2007 through October 2007, she devised a scheme to get money from investors through false and misleading representations. She said she knew that her companies were making little, if any, money and had significant outstanding monthly financial obligations and debts of about $500,000. She admitted knowing that the only way Calypso could continue to meet its monthly financial obligations was through debt financing.
Despite Calypso’s negative financial situation, she represented to investors that Calypso was successful and making money from its business activities, which included residential properties, real estate developments, central Utah property with valuable water rights, a precious metals mine, and foreign trading platforms in Hong Kong, Europe, and elsewhere.
She told investors that based on Calypso’s success, she could provide them with monthly returns ranging from 4 to 15 percent per month. She also admitted providing investors with a balance sheet that reflected Calypso had a net worth in excess of $60 million, and she told investors that Calypso’s assets were more than sufficient to pay them back and make them whole in the event its business went bad.
Buckley concealed from investors the fact that much of their investment would be used to make interest payments to or to pay off older investors, commonly known as Ponzi payments. Throughout the fraud period, she accepted money from investors ranging in amounts from $100,000 to as much as $3.5 million.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City and investigated by special agents of the FBI with assistance from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).