FARMINGTON, Utah — A Bountiful man who swindled a family friend out of nearly $600,000 using a fake law degree and committed a series of other fraudulent schemes will now serve between two and 30 years in prison in consecutive sentences at Utah State Prison's maximum security Uintas unit.
Robert Sinclair Argyle, 36, even fooled his parents into believing he had a law degree, paying him thousands of dollars a month after he said he'd been accepted to law school.
Others who were targets or had loves ones lose thousands of dollars because of Argyle hope he will be behind bars for as long as the law allows, according to a report from the Standard-Examiner.
Argyle, claiming a Stanford University law degree, stole at least $582,000 from David Holbrook, an old college friend of Argyle's father. Law firms in Salt Lake City and Ogden fired him after his phony degree was exposed.
At the sentencing for Argyle's crimes, prosecutors stated that he spent Holbrook's entire life savings in a few years, spending the money on a Mercedes, toupees, travel, lodging, food, and rent on a large home in North Salt Lake that he obtained fraudulently.
Neal Pollard was in the same LDS ward as Argyle, and said he cheated him out of $4,500 when trying to buy his home, and then tried to discredit him to neighbors over the dispute.
Dallon Boyd rented an apartment to Argyle and his wife in Farmington, but fraudulently used his aunt's credit card for rent and also forged a check to pay for Boyd's attorneys' fees.
At the sentencing hearing, Boyd related the stress and trauma they suffered over fear of retaliation by Argyle.
Argyle agreed to a plea bargain September 22 on charges that included theft, communications fraud and money laundering, second-degree felonies that call for one to 15 years in prison. Two dozen other charges were dropped in return for the guilty pleas.
Although defense attorneys argued he should receive probation for time served and for his good behavior while in prison, the Standard-Examiner article reported that Argyle tried to pass a fraudulent check while behind bars, aided by someone on the outside.
At his sentencing, Argyle argued that he is a changed man and hopes to repay his victims, saying he has seen many repeat criminals during his time in jail, “this type of person, come and go. This is not who I am and this is not who I want to be.”
But the sentencing Judge Ronald Russell saw things differently.
The two consecutive sentences of one to 15 years means that Argyle could spend from two to 30 years in prison, subject to parole hearings.