The Rick Koerber, Franklin Squires Video Feed



'Vindicated' Rick Koerber speaks out Robert Paisola Reports Live

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) - Calling himself a victim of government persecution, Alpine businessman Rick Koerber said he was "vindicated" Friday at a Salt Lake City news conference, one day after a federal judge dismissed charges against him.

Koerber once appeared on billboards in Utah promoting his Free Capitalist website and hosted the Free Capitalist radio show on KTKK 630 AM.

In 2009, Koerber was indicted on 25 counts including securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. He was accused of operating a $100 million Ponzi scheme through his Founders Capital company that allegedly owed investors $48 million.

"It is absurd to anyone who looks at the records to suggest this business was a Ponzi scheme," Koerber told reporters at the Downtown Salt Lake City Marriott, while flanked by his family and attorney Marcus Mumford. "The people I did business with were grown men and women who knew what we were doing who took some risks. We made some and we lost some and most of the people who did business with me walked away profitable."

On Thursday, Federal District Judge Clark Waddoups dismissed the charges with prejudice, meaning they cannot be filed again. Judge Waddoups threw out the case because federal prosecutors, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stewart Walz, missed filing deadlines and engaged in "questionable ethical conduct".

Koerber, claims he was targeted because of anti-government comments he made on his Free Capitalist radio show.
In a You Tube video from 2008, Koerber states "the Utah Department of Commerce has been a rogue agency stealthily persecuting small business in Utah for many years".

"Because of my radio show and my criticism of government bureaucrats, Francine Giani at the Utah Department of Commerce openly proclaimed in the beginning that she was encouraging this case quote at all costs," Koerber said Friday. "In this case, it turned out to the law, ethics rules and the Constitution itself."

"It is now beyond dispute that Miss Giani lied when she claimed there was a mountain of evidence she turned over to prosecutors," Koerber continued. "In fact, that supposed 20 boxes of evidence that made the news 5 years ago turned out to include empty boxes or boxes with materials from other cases that simply had my name slapped on a label over the front of them."

Giani responded with a statement, reading in part: "I am disappointed the many victims involved in this massive fraud did not receive justice. It is sad to see our jails so full of petty criminals while someone who stole people's retirement savings, homes, and futures walks free. I will not justify Rick Koerber's recent comments regarding my ethics.  What I will say is that I am shocked and astounded at how easy it seems for Judge Waddoups to allow his personal dislike for one federal prosecutor to deny justice to so many victims."

Koerber said he's now employed as a paralegal but did not rule out a return to the investment business or the airwaves.

"Will I be heard from? Probably," Koerber said. "Will I be back what I was doing before? I think I'm wiser. Whatever I do I hope to benefit from experience."

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