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Utah Man Sued by SEC Over $100 Million Real Estate Ponzi Scheme

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused a Utah man of defrauding investors of $100 million by promising outsized returns in a real estate-based Ponzi scheme.

Wayne L. Palmer and his firm, National Note of Utah LC, told investors they would reap annual returns of 12 percent through his plan to buy mortgage notes and real estate assets, the SEC said in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Utah today. The agency said in a statement it obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze.

Palmer told investors that their money would be completely secure and that National Note had never missed a payment on its promissory notes, the SEC said. Instead, National Note used most of the money it took in from new investors to pay its earlier clients, according to the complaint.

“Palmer promised double-digit returns at his real estate seminars, where investors learned the hard way about his lies and deceit,” Kenneth Israel, head of the SEC’s regional office in Salt Lake City, said in a statement.

A phone call to Randall Mackey, an attorney for Palmer, wasn’t immediately returned.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joshua Gallu in Washington at jgallu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net

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