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A Jefferson County grand jury has indicted a 51-year-old Lakewood man on 51 counts of Securities Fraud and four counts of Theft. Each count is a class three felony. Kenneth Dewey Wyatt is accused of fraudulently soliciting over $1.7 million from his friends, acquaintances and coworkers between April 2007 and October 2008. Wyatt approached potential investors and asked for money to expand his business. In return, he offered very high rates of return, up to 40%, on very short-term investments. According to the indictment Wyatt repaid only a small percentage (less than 5%) of the $1.7 million. He made nominal repayments to some of the investors and repaid nothing to the others. There were twelve victims named in the indictment. In 2007 Wyatt began doing business as Wyatt Group Realty, LLC at 255 Union in Lakewood. The business was a real estate firm that assisted people and businesses with the purchase and sale of real estate. In 2008, when Wyatt Group Realty began to falter, Wyatt solicited funds from investors and created Vast Property Management. According to court documents, Vast Property was never a viable company and never produced any income. Wyatt had four business and two personal bank accounts. He is accused of moving money between accounts, including his personal accounts. Wyatt is also alleged to have used money from one investor to make partial payments to another. When Wyatt solicited money to expand his business in 2007 and 2008 he is alleged to have failed to disclose to investors, as required by law, that he had filed bankruptcy in 2001, and that he had been sued in 2006 and 2007 by the State of Colorado Department of Revenue for failure to pay taxes. He is also alleged to have illegally failed to disclose to potential investors that their money would be transferred into his personal bank account and/or withdrawn from his account. This joint investigation between the Jefferson County District Attorney and the Attorney General’s Office began in late 2009. The Colorado Division of Securities under the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) also provided assistance in this investigation. The indictment was returned on February 18.
Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey praised the work of the grand jury and investigators. “Security fraud investigations are complicated and time consuming. It’s easy for investors to become vulnerable in today’s business climate when everyone is eager to maximize their return,” says Storey, “This case is a good illustration to anyone considering an investment to remember that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Wyatt was arrested on February 23 and posted a $25,000 cash bond. He has a court appearance on March 7, 2011.
March 2, 2011
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