United States District Court, D. Utah
MARIA E. WINDHAM, as Receiver for MARQUIS PROPERTIES, LLC, Plaintiff,
TODD CLIFTON LAWSON, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO DISMISS
N. Parrish, United States District Court Judge
prior case, Chad Deucher pleaded guilty to securities fraud
and admitted to operating Marquis Properties, LLC as a Ponzi
scheme. On January 18, 2017, the court appointed Maria
Windham to act as the Receiver for Marquis Properties.
Exactly one year later, she sued several individuals and
entities in an attempt to recover Marquis Properties'
assets. She alleges two claims for relief as to all the
defendants: (1) fraudulent transfers under Utah's Uniform
Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), and (2) unjust enrichment.
Defendant Todd Lawson moved to dismiss both claims as to him
on the grounds that they are time barred. [Docket 64]. After
the parties briefed the motion to dismiss, the court ordered
them to brief whether the Receiver has standing to assert the
fraudulent transfer claim.
court concludes that the Receiver may assert a fraudulent
transfer claim on behalf of Marquis Properties against
Lawson. The court also determines that the fraudulent
transfer and unjust enrichment claims are not time barred.
The court, therefore, DENIES Lawson's motion to dismiss.
Deucher operated Marquis Properties as a Ponzi scheme from
March 2010 to February 2016. He told investors that Marquis
Properties located, purchased, renovated, and sold homes in
lucrative areas of the country. And he often promised
guaranteed returns. But in reality, Marquis Properties was
insolvent and paid its investors with money from new
Lawson was part of the Marquis Properties' in-house sales
team and found investors for Marquis Properties. Marquis
Properties paid Lawson at least $31, 411.56 in commissions
between February 2011 and June 2012.
eventually pleaded guilty to securities fraud and admitted
that Marquis Properties was a Ponzi scheme. On January 18,
2017, in a parallel civil case, the court appointed Maria
Windham to act as the Receiver for Marquis Properties. She
filed this lawsuit on January 18, 2018-exactly one year after
she was appointed.
court first addresses the issue of the Receiver's
standing to assert a fraudulent transfer claim on behalf of
Marquis Properties to recover commissions that it paid to
Lawson. The court then addresses Lawson's statute of
FRAUDULENT TRANSFER CLAIM
time that Marquis Properties paid commissions to Lawson,
Utah's UFTA provided that a transfer made or obligation
incurred by a debtor is fraudulent as to a creditor . . . if
the debtor made the transfer or incurred the obligation:
(a) with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any
creditor of the debtor; or
(b) without receiving a reasonably equivalent value in
exchange for the transfer or ...