Be Wary of Real Estate Deals That Turn Out to Be Ponzi Schemes

Consumers

were convinced they were making a safe real-estate investment and that they would receive an annual return of 14% to 16%. What happened instead is that the salesman made millions, while consumers lost their savings.

The Utah Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Department of Commerce say the conviction of William Hammons should serve as a warning about unscrupulous advisers promoting phony investments. Hammons, 66, was found guilty of securities fraud, unlicensed sales of securities and racketeering.