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REGION & STATE | IN BRIEF / SAN DIEGO

7 Arrested in Fraud Ring That Spanned States

August 20, 2004|From Times Wire Reports

Seven people who claimed they had access to a trust fund created by descendants of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith have been arrested in what federal investigators said was a fraud ring that stretched across several states.

Over a period of more than 10 years, more than 100 victims were bilked out of a total of between $20 million and $50 million on a promise that they would receive returns from a $1.6-million trust fund allegedly created by Smith overseas, the FBI reported Wednesday.

The ring operated out of a liquor store in the Ocean Beach area of San Diego and a local apartment complex where several of the suspects lived. Investigators said the suspects flew to Utah, Texas, Idaho and other states to pitch the deal.

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