Attorney General Sean Reyes Announces Bliss Sentencing After Joint Investigation with FBI [UPH Wire]

Attorney General Sean Reyes Announces Bliss Sentencing
After Joint Investigation with FBI

SALT LAKE CITY Feb. 26, 2016 – Less than a year after his arrest for
charges related to a Ponzi scheme, Roger S. Bliss of Bountiful, Utah was
sentenced to a minimum of four years in prison by Third District Court
Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills. The Office of the Attorney General’s Mortgage
and Financial Fraud Unit led a team investigating Bliss that included the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) also conducted a parallel civil investigation. Attorney
General Sean Reyes praised the attorneys that prosecuted the case, as well
as the collaboration with federal agencies.

“The prosecution of white-collar crimes and protection of Utah consumers is
among the highest priorities for our office. I made that commitment to
Utahns and I will continue keeping that promise with every white collar
criminal we convict,” said Attorney General Reyes. “The devastation wrought
upon the lives of victims breaks my heart and reinforces our commitment to
aggressively pursue fraudsters and scammers continuously. The perpetrator
in this case will be listed on our fraud registry.

“Our attorneys, investigators, paralegals and staff work tirelessly to
protect Utah consumers and put an end to Ponzi schemes like this one. This
case also demonstrates the excellent interagency collaboration with our
partners, the FBI and the SEC. This is truly a tremendous outcome for
citizens in Utah; not only for the victims in this case but to deter future
frauds and scams by sending a clear message that Utah is not a place to
cheat your friends and neighbors.”

“We congratulate the Utah Attorney’s General’s Office on the conviction and
sentencing, and we look forward to proceeding with our civil action,”
Richard Best, Regional Director of the Salt Lake Regional Office of the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Upon sentencing, Bliss was immediately taken into custody to begin serving
his sentence. He had previously pleaded guilty on December 11, 2015, to
four counts of Securities Fraud and one count of Pattern of Unlawful
Activity, all of which are Second Degree felonies.

Bliss was also convicted for the crimes of Obstruction of Justice and False
Declaration Before a Court of the United States, committed in connection
with the civil case filed by the SEC. That case was filed and prosecuted in
Utah Federal District Court by the United States Attorney’s Office for the
District of Utah. Judge Nuffer sentenced Bliss to 12 months in federal
prison, with the sentence to run consecutive to the prison time he received
from the State of Utah. The civil case filed by the SEC is still ongoing.
The investigation by the Office of the Utah Attorney General and the FBI
into Bliss’ Ponzi scheme began in January of 2015 and culminated when he
was charged in Third District Court in July 2015 after it was discovered
that Bliss solicited funds from potential investors, claiming he would
generate returns of over 100% annually by trading Apple stock. Bliss told
potential investors that he had never had a losing day trading stock,
promising to split earnings with investors 50/50, and between 2013 and 2015
over one hundred people invested funds with him. The investigation revealed
that Bliss lost over $3 million trading during this time, spending
approximately $4 million of the invested funds on personal expenses for
himself and his family. Bliss used new investor funds to pay purported
returns to earlier investors. Total losses for the scheme exceeded $20
million.

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Daniel Burton
Public Information Officer
Office of the Utah Attorney General
Mobile: 801-386-6830

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