Free Capitalist host charged with $100m Ponzi scheme

29 May 2009

A Utah businessman and host of the Free Capitalist radio show has been indicted by a federal grand jury over allegedly running a $100 million Ponzi scheme.

Claud Koerber, also known as Rick Koerber, faces charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion.

He is alleged to have obtained the money through loans for Founders Capital, a subsidiary of his Provo-based real estate firm FranklinSquires.

According to the indictment, over $50 million was used to pay earlier investors to give the "false impression" that his businesses were profitable and their investments were secure, the Star-Tribune reports.

Mr Koerber is also accused of using investors' cash to fund personal interests, including investing $850,000 in restaurants, $1 million in luxury automobiles and $5 million in filmmaking.

On his official site, Mr Koerber describes himself as a "capitalist, Mormon [and] dad".

He started the daily Free Capitalist talk radio show in 2005.

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