SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Securities Commission announced today that Commission members approved the Commission’s first ever whistleblower award for $15,000 to St. George financial advisor, LaMond Syphus, for his actions in reporting investment fraud to Division of Securities investigators which resulted in criminal charges. Syphus told
Division investigators that a potential client, a recent widow, had come into a large sum of money. Based on his conversations with her about Richard Loveday, Syphus concluded that the woman was a target of fraud. Loveday, a Canadian national, convinced the woman to give him payments totaling $100,000 by claiming he would invest her money in a safe place with high returns. Investigations showed that he spent the sum on personal expenses instead. Loveday currently faces felony criminal charges for securities fraud, theft and communications fraud.
“The Securities Commission applauds the actions of LaMond Syphus whose keen instinct led him to contact Division investigators with concerns about this widow’s investment,” stated Erik A. Christiansen, Chairman of the Utah Securities Commission, “We rely on our securities licensees statewide as the first line of defense in assisting the Division of
Securities in their fight against financial fraud. Our hope is that this financial incentive encourages others to come forward and report financial crime when it occurs in Utah.”
Senate Bill 100, Securities Fraud Reporting Program Act, passed during the 2011 Utah Legislative General session. The statute created a reward program for individuals who provide original information to the Division of Securities that leads to a successful enforcement action for securities fraud or other violations of Utah’s securities laws. If the enforcement action leads to the collection of monetary sanctions over $50,000, the reporter may be entitled to a reward of up to 30% of the amount collected in the case.
About the Utah Securities Commission
The Division of Securities is advised by an independent commission comprised of five Utah citizens. Each member is appointed by the governor and serves a four‐year term. Two members must come from the securities brokerage community, one member must be a member of the securities section of the Utah State Bar, one member must come from a corporation which is not a reporting company, and one member must come from the public at large who has no active participation in the securities business. Section § 61‐1‐18.5 is the statutory authority for the Securities Commission.
About the Utah Division of Securities
The Division of Securities enhances Utah’s business climate by protecting Utah’s investors through education, enforcement, and fair regulation of Utah’s investment industry while fostering opportunities for capital formation. Investors should do business with licensed securities brokers and advisers and report any suspicion of investment fraud to the Utah Division of Securities by calling (801) 530.6600; toll free at 1.800.721.7233 or logging on to securities.utah.gov .