LOGAN — A 53-year-old Logan woman, Lori Ann Anderson cried and wiped back tears as she appeared in 1st District Court Monday, pleading guilty to running an alleged Ponzi scheme and bilking investors of over $1.7 million.
Anderson stood next to her attorney as she waived her right to a preliminary hearing and later pleaded guilty to two counts of securities fraud and one count of pattern of unlawful behavior, all second-degree felonies.
Anderson reportedly ran an investment business called SMTS Association out of her home for several years.
Brian Williams from the State Attorney General’s Office told the court, Anderson gathered large sums of money from around 70 victims, creating a type of trading club. She then would use those funds in day trading investments through TD Ameritrade.
Williams said while Anderson incurred losses she would use money from new investors to continue making payouts to older investors. She was arrested in December after an FBI investigation.
Monday’s guilty pleas are a part of an agreement between prosecutors and Anderson’s defense attorney, Justin Elswick. Under conditions of the plea, the Attorney General’s Office has agreed not to ask for incarceration if Anderson can repay the $1.7 million dollars by the time of sentencing on May 23.
Judge Thomas Willmore said the victims, some of whom are friends and family of Anderson, can write letters to him or testify during sentencing. He also ordered her not to have any contact with them.
Court records show in 1992 Anderson was sentenced to one-to-15-years in prison after pleading guilty in a similar type case. At that time, she lost her securities license after embezzling $140,000 from Farm Bureau Insurance policy holders.
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