Panama seems to be something of a destination.
Utah County man charged with wire fraud is arrested in Panama
By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 04/24/2009 04:24:45 PM MDT
Jeffrey Lane Mowen, 47, of Lindon, accused of defrauding investors out of millions through his foreign currency trading and real estate programs, has been arrested in Panama.
A Lindon man accused of defrauding investors out of millions through his foreign currency trading and real estate programs has been arrested in Panama and is expected to appear in a federal court in Houston this afternoon.
The arrest of Jeffrey Lane Mowen, 47, was made by Panamanian authorities in conjunction with the FBI Legal Attache office in Panama, federal officials said Friday. They said the arrest was made without incident after authorities received information from U.S. citizens living in Panama.
Mowen is charged with three counts of wire fraud, carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His investors allegedly lost about $10 million.
A federal indictment unsealed Monday in Salt Lake City alleges that Mowen promised returns as high as 33 percent a month and received more than $18 million in investments. He initially made some payments to investors, but stopped after about a year, the indictment says.
Instead of investing the funds, Mowen ran a Ponzi scheme, in which investors are paid returns with money taken from newer investors, and bought more than 200 high-end vehicles, according to the indictment. Those vehicles have been seized by federal authorities.
Authorities say Mowen fled the United States in the fall when confronted by investors. Publicity surrounding the unsealing of the indictment alerted the public that he was a fugitive.