Victor John Sifton, 47, a Canadian citizen, was convicted by a federal jury of five counts of wire fraud stemming from a hard money lending scam perpetrated by Sifton and a co-conspirator, Jason Lawson, 45, Park City, Utah, a former mortgage broker. The jury returned the verdict following a four-day trial in U.S. District Court.
Lawson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in 2009 and served an 18-month prison sentence.
The hard money lending scheme involved six loans secured by Lawson primarily from former clients with whom he had built a relationship of trust. As part of the scheme to defraud, Lawson misrepresented to the clients that he had borrowers in need of short term loans, that there would be a 15 percent return, and that borrowers would pledge their residences as collateral. All of these representations were false.
On three of the six loans, Sifton offered the use of his motherâ€™s name and condo in Vail, Colorado, as a borrower and collateral, respectively. Sifton also used his bank accounts to receive and disburse scheme proceeds to Lawson, prior lenders, third-party debtors, and for personal expenses. Five of the wire transfers underlying the foregoing movement of money supported the counts of conviction. The scheme brought in over $1,000,000.
Siftonâ€™s sentencing is set for December 3, 2012 before Judge Dale A. Kimball. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud conviction and fines of $250,000 per count.