Rick Koerber

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Claude Roderick "Rick" Koerber, (born Claud Roderick Franklin 1973, Casper, WY), is a Utah businessman and entrepreneur, who was indicted on charges of orchestrating and running a $100 million Ponzi scheme.[1] Charges were initially dropped, but were refiled in January 2017. Koerber is currently awaiting a summons to appear in court.[2]

Biography[edit]

Koerber was the presenter of the radio show "FreeCapitalist" and the founder of the "FreeCapitalist Project", both of which promoted free market capitalism, along with conferences on capitalism and business techniques.

At arraignment in June 2009, Koerber pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, and a trial was set for September 11, 2012.[3] In November 2009, U.S. Federal prosecutors filed 19 additional charges of fraud against Koerber, including one count of mail fraud, six counts of fraud in the offer and sale of securities, one count of sale of unregistered securities, 10 counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and two counts of tax evasion, bringing the total of charges filed to 22.[4]

During evidentiary hearings a key piece of evidence was thrown out resulting in one charge being dropped because it was based on a draft of a letter to key investors and there was no evidence it was sent.[5]

On March 28, 2014, a federal judge set a new trial date to try the remaining 18 charges,[6] however Judge Clark Waddoups dismissed the case on June 19, 2014 due to the government violating Koerber's right to a speedy trial. The case was dismissed 5 years to the day after Koerber's arraignment.[7] The case was dismissed with prejudice.[8] In December 2014 prosecutors said they were willing to appeal the verdict.[9] Prosecutors appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeal in Denver, Colorado. On January 21, 2016, the court found that Waddoups failed to consider the seriousness of the charges and Koerber's contributions in delaying the trial.[10] The case was sent back to the lower court and Waddoups recused himself from reviewing it. On August 25, 2016, federal judge Jill Parrish ruled that the charges could be reinstated.[11] Koerber was again indicted by a grand jury on January 18, 2017, on 18 charges.[12]

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