U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 22096 / September 16, 2011
SEC v. Jeffrey L. Mowen, Thomas R. Fry, Bevan J. Wilde, Gary W. Hansen, Michael G. Butcher, James B. Mooring, David G. Bartholomew, and Michael W. Averett, Defendants, and Erin O’Malley, f/k/a Erin O. Mowen, Relief Defendant, Case No. 2:09-cv-00786-DB/PMW (D. Utah September 16, 2011)
FINAL DEFAULT JUDGMENT ENTERED AGAINST RELIEF DEFENDANT ERIN O’MALLEY, f/k/a ERIN O. MOWEN AND FORMER SPOUSE OF CONVICTED PONZI SCHEME OPERATOR JEFFREY L. MOWEN
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that the United States District Court for the District of Utah entered a final judgment, dated September 16, 2011, against Erin O’Malley, f/k/a Erin O. Mowen. Ms. O’Malley is the former spouse of convicted felon and securities law recidivist, Jeffrey L. Mowen. On May 4, 2011, Mowen pled guilty to committing wire fraud in a related criminal action, United States of America v. Mowen, Case No. 2:09-cr-00098-DB (D. Utah). In pleading guilty, Mowen acknowledged operating a Ponzi scheme from around October 2006 to around October 2008, wherein he received over $18 million from investors for use in a purported foreign currency trading program. The SEC Complaint alleges that the investor funds provided to Mowen were raised by Thomas Fry and the other defendants, Fry’s promoters, from the unregistered offer and sale of high-yield promissory notes to over 150 investors in several states. Mowen acknowledged in his guilty plea that, rather than using investor funds for their intended purpose, he used the money for his personal benefit, misappropriating over $8 million.
According to the SEC’s Complaint, Mowen transferred approximately $650,000 of the misappropriated funds to his then wife, relief defendant Erin O’Malley. The SEC sought the return of those funds in its complaint from Ms. O’Malley, whom it alleged had no bona fide right to the funds. The SEC did not allege that Ms. O’Malley personally committed any securities law violation. Ms. O’Malley did not respond to the SEC’s allegations and the court therefore ordered the default judgment against her, ordering her to disgorge $654,101 in funds that the SEC had shown, through bank records, Mowen had transferred to her. The SEC’s action is continuing against Mowen, Fry, and Fry’s promoters.