A Stansbury Park man pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme which targeted friends, members of his church and some of their relatives, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Ronald Wayne Leavitt, 61, pleaded guilty during an appearance last Wednesday in federal court, the release said.
As part of the plea deal, Leavitt will be required to serve 36 months in federal prison, subject to court approval, and agreed to pay victims the total amount lost in the fraud, which totaled $679,420. Leavitt is scheduled for sentencing in the case on June 4 before U.S. District Judge David Nuffer.
Leavitt acknowledged he told lies to friends and neighbors to encourage them to invest in his schemes, which included a real estate venture in California, a high-end real estate development venture in Moab and a sugar substitute start-up company, according to the release.
Leavitt admitted to fabricating the real estate venture in California and misleading investors on his role in the Moab and sugar substitute ventures, which do exist, the release said. He also admitted to lying to his victims, telling them, among other things, that he owned property worth millions of dollars, inherited millions of dollars from his parents or was the executor of a large trust fund.
During his plea hearing last Wednesday, Leavitt admitted to spending the majority of the money he took from victims rather than investing it, the release said. He already repaid $160,000 to three victims and agreed to repay the remaining $519,420 in restitution.