Feds to re-try ‘Free Capitalist’ Rick Koerber

Posted at 12:52 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 15:12:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah said it will re-try Rick Koerber in one of the state’s largest fraud scheme trials.

Rick Koerber outside court in August of 2017.

In a statement to FOX 13, U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber announced his decision to seek a new trial. Koerber’s seven-week trial on fraud charges ended last month with a hung jury and a mistrial.

“While we recognize the cost, time, and energy it will take to retry this case, it is the right thing to do.  In a case where investors entrusted approximately $100 million to the defendant, of which well over $50 million was redistributed to other investors, a jury should reach a unanimous verdict as to the defendant’s culpability, or lack thereof.  For either party and for our broader community, justice demands the finality of a unanimous jury verdict,” he wrote.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will formally request U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby to set a new trial date at a scheduling conference.

Koerber was accused of perpetuating one of the state’s largest fraud schemes. However, he insisted that it was not a Ponzi scheme but a legitimate business with millions in assets.

This is the latest effort by the federal government to prosecute Koerber, who was everywhere in Utah a decade ago with his “Free Capitalist” billboards, radio show and investment seminars.

Prosecutors charged him in 2009, but the case was tossed when a federal judge ruled Koerber’s speedy trial rights were violated. The feds appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and won a chance to re-try him. That led to the 2017 trial, which ended when jurors told the judge they could not reach a unanimous verdict.