Eight Utah residents indicted in $100 million online fraud scheme

Dec 15, 2022, 6:30 PM

Image of courtroom and gavel. A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City has indicted Utah fugitive Llo...

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City has indicted Utah fugitive Llobani Federico Figueroa and 27 other defendants on multiple drug related crimes. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — This week a federal grand jury said that, for six years, multiple people in Utah were involved in a far-ranging online fraud scheme that netted them more than $100 million.

Eight Utah residents were indicted in the District of Utah for their suspected participation in this scheme. 

The indictment charges that the defendants committed 18 counts of criminal activity, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aggravated identity theft among other charges.

According to the indictment the following people ‘knowingly devised and executed a scheme” to defraud and obtain money:

  • Gren Bawden, 36, of Salt Lake County;
  • Chad Austin Bawden, 43, of Salt Lake County;
  • Makaio Lyman Crisler, 39, of Utah County;
  • Phillip Gannuscia, 52, of Salt Lake County and Puerto Rico;
  • Dustin Garr, 44, of Washington County;
  • Barbara Jo Jackson, 69, of Utah County;
  • Brent Goldburn Knudson, 42, of Utah County;
  • Robert McKinley, 45, of Spokane, Washington; and
  • Richard Scott Nemrow, 42, of Utah County.

According to the indictment, the suspects were involved in fraudulently selling nutraceutical, CBD, and dietary supplements online. 

By paying people to use their personal information, the suspects are accused of creating hundreds of websites, hundreds of checking accounts, and hundreds of merchant processing accounts.

They are suspected of having used the websites and accounts to funnel more than $100 million to themselves. 

In the indictment, the federal grand jury asserts that the scheme to defraud was carried out “by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and omissions of material facts.”

According to the indictment, a portion of the fraudulently obtained proceeds include a Lamborghini Urus, a 2020 Porsche 911 convertible, and a 2021 Nautique Paragon boat.

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Eight Utah residents indicted in $100 million online fraud scheme