Score:   1
Docket Number:   D-UT  2:18-cr-00481
Case Name:   USA v. Fordham
  Press Releases:
SALT LAKE CITY – A federal indictment unsealed Friday charges Daron Howell Fordham, age 49, of Las Vegas with six counts of mail fraud in connection with what the indictment alleges was a direct mail fraud scheme that defrauded hundreds of investors across the country, including many elderly and disabled individuals.

According to the indictment, Fordham, aka Southboy, Daron Destiny, Paul Park, James Parker, Daron Howell and Darren Fordham, set up a mailbox at a UPS Store in Park City using the name Park Publishers and Distributors.  He paid a printing service in California to send out hundreds of mailers soliciting people to invest in his direct mail program which had several variations.  The mailers offered an opportunity to make money through a “direct partner program” called “Paul Park’s Profit Program,” listing a Park City address as the company address for responses. 

The indictment alleges Fordham’s mailer induced individual investors to send money to the address with fraudulent claims and guarantees, including telling individuals they could make a 976 percent return (or more) in less than 90 days without doing any work. “All you have to do is invest in the printing and mailing of our hot-selling FREE CRUISE FOR TWO VOUCHERS (like the one included with this letter) that are used by businesses all across the country.  WE DO ALL THE WORK! You decide how many Mailing Spots you want now and you’ll receive your Principal Check sand PROFIT Check in less than 90 days.  Trust me.  You’ll be upset if you miss this one.”

He told investors, the indictment alleges, they could invest $500 and get a “whopping gross return of $5,570 with $5,070 of it being PURE PROFIT FOR You.” 

The indictment further alleges that between January and November 2014, Fordham negotiated or caused to be negotiated at least $1,596,642.14 in checks and money orders related to eight fraudulent promotional schemes, including at least $203,866.25 through the Park Publishers fraudulent promotional mailer scheme.

When investors requested refunds or on the date of the promised dividend payment, Fordham provided customers a previously unmentioned gift card voucher equal to the investment, which could only be used toward an additional business venture by Park Publishers or its affiliate partners.  He also provided a full credit refund certificate, which investors could not redeem for any monetary value, good or service.  Eventually, Fordham closed the Park City mailbox so that victims’ letters requesting a refund or inquiring about their promised return on their investment were returned as undeliverable.  An 800-number was also disconnected, leaving victims unable to contact Fordham, the indictment alleges.

Fordham is charged with six counts of mail fraud in the indictment.  He was arrested in Las Vegas where he had an initial appearance on the charges and was released on conditions.  Fordham was arraigned on the charges Tuesday morning in federal court in Salt Lake City.  Chief Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner presided at the hearing.  He entered a plea of not guilty to the six counts in the indictment.  Trial was set for Jan. 28, 2019.

Federal prosecutors are seeking detention in the case and are asking U.S. District Judge Dee Benson to review the Nevada magistrate’s decision to release Fordham.  Judge Benson will hear the appeal Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Each count of mail fraud carries a potential 20-year sentence.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  Individuals charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

Fordham Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud Scheme With More Than 1,600 Victims Throughout The Nation

SALT LAKE CITY – In observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 7-13, 2019), the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City held a media roundtable Wednesday morning advocating for victims of elder abuse in Utah and around the country.  Elder abuse includes crimes such as physical abuse and financial exploitation.

Joining U.S. Attorney John Huber at the roundtable discussion were Nan Mendenhall, State of Utah Director of Adult Protective Services, Alan Ormsby, State Director of AARP Utah, and Jared Bingham, Team Leader of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Utah.

“Attorney General William B. Barr reminded us a few weeks ago that crimes against the elderly target some of the most vulnerable people in our society. No one is immune from these schemes,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today.  “While victims of any crime deserve justice, we decided to focus our victim rights week energy on our continuing efforts to educate our older adults and their families about signs of elder abuse. This effort remains one of the top priorities for the Department of Justice and my office.”  

According to a Department of Justice report provided to Congress, it is widely estimated that at least one in 10 people in the United States suffers from some form of elder abuse.  The abuse can be physical, psychological, or financial.  Each year, an estimated $3 billion is stolen from millions of American seniors through fraudulent financial investment schemes, grandparent scams, fake prizes, romance scams, and fraudulent IRS refunds – among others. Older Americans are targeted because fraudsters believe that is where the money is, they are more accessible after retirement, and they may be more trusting.

For example, sentencing will be June 6, 2019, in a Utah case involving a Las Vegas man who devised a direct mail fraud scheme involving at least 1,693 victims nationwide – many of whom are elderly and disabled. The total loss amount in the case is $1,834,033.15. 

Daron Howell Fordham, age 50, of Las Vegas, Nevada, entered guilty pleas to six counts of mail fraud in federal court in Salt Lake City on March 28, 2019. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson presided at the hearing.  Fordham pleaded guilty to all counts included in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in October 2018.  The plea agreement includes a stipulated sentence of 72 months in federal prison, subject to the approval and acceptance of the court.

The six victims of the mail fraud counts in the case are between 65 and 91 years old.

Fordham, aka Southboy, Daron Destiny, Paul Park, James Parker, Daron Howell and Darren Fordham, admitted that as a part of his fraud scheme, he opened a private mailbox at the UPS Store in Park City in May 2014, using the business name Park Publishers and Distributors.  He requested that all mail received at the mailbox be forwarded to his address in California.

He used the mail to send promotional materials to individuals throughout the United States, including residents of Utah.  The mailers offered an opportunity to make money through a “direct partner program” called “Paul Park’s Profit Program” and listed the Park City mailbox as the company address for responses.  As a part of his plea agreement, Fordham admitted his mailers induced people to send money to the Park City mailbox.  The mail was immediately forwarded to him in California.  Some individuals made electronic payments.

Fordham admitted making fraudulent claims and guarantees to induce individuals to invest, including “I’ll show you how you can earn up to 976% return (or more) on your money in less than 120 days… And without you even having to lift a finger to do work at all.”  He also encouraged them to invest in the printing and mailing of “our hot-selling FREE CRUISE FOR TWO VOUCHERS (sample included with the letter) that are used by businesses all across the country.”

Fordham told investors “WE DO ALL THE WORK! You decide how many Mailing Spots you want now and you’ll receive your Principal Check and PROFIT Check in less than 90 days.  Trust me.  You’ll be upset if you miss this one.”

He told investors, according to the plea agreement, they could get more than a 1,000% return on their money by investing $500 and getting a return of $5,570. 

Fordham admitted he obtained at least $203,866.25 through his Park Publishers fraud

scheme. After about six months, he closed the mailbox in Park City and disconnected the 1-800 number, leaving victims unable to reach him.  He never sent them vouchers or returned any money he received from the victims, despite receiving heartfelt letters requesting a refund. As a part of the plea agreement, he said he did on occasion purchase “a few gift cards and sent them to victims that complained the most in an attempt to appease them.”

The six mail fraud counts of conviction relate to the Park City financial fraud scheme.

Fordham admitted that in the year 2014, he had at least eight different variations of this scheme ongoing using different names, private mailboxes, and phone numbers.  He admitted he obtained $1,596,642.14 through his fraudulent mailer schemes January through November 2014.

He admitted he continued to operate his fraudulent scheme until his Nov. 9, 2018, arrest in Las Vegas. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement officers found an apartment full of promotional material similar to the Park Publishers scheme but with different variations. Fordham admitted he was operating schemes called “Monster Gift Cards” and “AGS Gift Cards.”  He fraudulently obtained at least $239,516 from these schemes.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case.  Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Salt Lake City are investigating the case.

SALT LAKE CITY –  Daron Howell Fordham, age 50, of Las Vegas, Nevada, who pleaded guilty to six counts of mail fraud in connection with a scheme that defrauded more than 1,693 victims nationwide, will serve 72 months in federal prison.  Many of the victims of the fraud are elderly and disabled.

Fordham pleaded guilty earlier this year to all counts included in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in October 2018.  The plea agreement included a stipulated sentence of 72 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson also ordered Fordham to pay $1,834,033,14 in restitution in the case. The six victims of the mail fraud counts in the case are between 65 and 91 years old.

“Crimes against the elderly target some of the most vulnerable people in our society. No one is immune from these schemes,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today.  “We are continuing our efforts to help older adults and senior citizens recognize the signs of financial fraud schemes. This effort is one of the top priorities for the Department of Justice and my office.”  

 

Fordham, aka Southboy, Daron Destiny, Paul Park, James Parker, Daron Howell and Darren Fordham opened a private mailbox at the UPS Store in Park City in May 2014, using the business name Park Publishers and Distributors.  He requested that all mail received at the mailbox be forwarded to his address in California.

He used the mail to send promotional materials to individuals throughout the United States, including residents of Utah.  The mailers offered an opportunity to make money through a “direct partner program” called “Paul Park’s Profit Program” and listed the Park City mailbox as the company address for responses.  Fordham’s mailers induced people to send money to the Park City mailbox.  The mail was forwarded to Fordham in California. Other individuals made electronic payments.

Fordham made fraudulent claims and guarantees to induce individuals to invest, including “I’ll show you how you can earn up to 976% return (or more) on your money in less than 120 days… And without you even having to lift a finger to do work at all.”  He also encouraged them to invest in the printing and mailing of “our hot-selling FREE CRUISE FOR TWO VOUCHERS (sample included with the letter) that are used by businesses all across the country.”

Fordham told investors “WE DO ALL THE WORK! You decide how many Mailing Spots you want now and you’ll receive your Principal Check and PROFIT Check in less than 90 days.  Trust me.  You’ll be upset if you miss this one.”

He told investors they could get more than a 1,000% return on their money by investing $500 and getting a return of $5,570. 

After about six months, he closed the mailbox in Park City and disconnected the 1-800 number, leaving victims unable to reach him.  He never sent them vouchers or returned any money he received from the victims, despite receiving heartfelt letters requesting a refund.

The six mail fraud counts of conviction relate to the Park City financial fraud scheme. Fordham.  Fordham obtained at least $203,866.25 through the Park Publishers fraudulent promotional scheme.

In 2014, Fordham had at least eight different variations of this scheme ongoing using different names, private mailboxes, and phone numbers.  He continued to operate his fraudulent schemes until his Nov. 9, 2018, arrest in Las Vegas. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement officers found an apartment full of promotional material similar to the Park Publishers scheme but with different variations. Fordham was operating schemes called “Monster Gift Cards” and “AGS Gift Cards.”  

The total loss amount from his schemes is $1,834,003.14.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.  Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Salt Lake City investigated the case.  

 

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KJ9bdt9s27Ui60Td2-vX4Y5cip3aPCDltqCKgzZYiyI/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2019-10-30 07:16:01 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
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Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
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Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
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Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
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Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The number of days from the earlier of filing date or first appearance date to proceeding date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from proceeding date to disposition date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from disposition date to sentencing date
Format: N3

Description: The code of the district office where the case was terminated
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant at the time the case was closed
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense that carried the most severe disposition and penalty under which the defendant was disposed
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE1
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Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE1
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Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A code indicating whether the prison sentence associated with TTITLE1 was concurrent or consecutive in relation to the other counts in the indictment or information or multiple counts of the same charge
Format: A4

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Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
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Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
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Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
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Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
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Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
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Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
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Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
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Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
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Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
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Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
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Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
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