American Pension Services founder pleads not guilty to fraud charges
by Carol Thompson
Curtis DeYoung, founder of American Pension Systems entered a plea of not guilty to charges of mail fraud concerning account statements sent to clients that were allegedly designed to conceal million of dollars in missing funds.
DeYoung, 58, was recently indicted on 15 charges of mail fraud following an investigation by the FBI.
DeYoung’s problems began when he was sued by he Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2014. The FBI then initiated an investigation. The SEC complaint cited millions of dollars missing from accounts of people who had used APS to hold their Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k)s while they direct their own investments.
Under federal law, DeYoung was prohibited from directing money from the accounts without written permission of the account holders and was not to act as an investment adviser.
According to court documents, it’s alleged that DeYoung used the monies to for failed investments with friends, personal expenses, loans and high salaries.
According to the SEC, the clients received erroneous customer account statements at the end of 2012 and 2013. Savers allegedly were told there was $45.9 million in the master trust accounts at the end of 2012, when the balance was really $23.8 million, a shortage of $22 million.
At the end of 2013, clients allegedly were told via customer account statements that they had $57.3 million in their master trust accounts. The shortfall at that time was $22.7 million, according to the complaint.
DeYoung faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge if convicted and a maximum fine of up to $250,000. He was ordered to turn in his passport and not leave the state of Utah, where he reportedly resides.
Last month, the United States Department of Justice sent an e-mail notification to all individuals identified by the FBI as victims of Mr. DeYoung’s actions. The notice details victims’ rights through the criminal proceedings, how future notices from the Department of Justice will be sent, and contact information regarding updates on the criminal proceedings.
American Pension Services is in receivership and a website has been established to keep investors informed on the case.
A trial date has been set for June 1.
Image: United States Government