Religious people are the best people
When you're living on hope, what could possibly go wrong?
Through the years, convicted swindler Val E. Southwick had many things going for him as he convinced investors to part with their money, not the least of which was his standing in the LDS Church.
Yes, he was a convincing speaker, had 20 years of investment experience, controlled a web of 150 companies collectively known as VesCor and drove expensive cars to flaunt his wealth. But it was Southwick's ability to tout his faith to the faithful that cleared the way for him to make some of the deals that eventually cheated more than 800 investors out of as much as $180 million.
"We figured if the guy was active LDS it gave us a little more hope" that the investment was safe, said Ron Bishop, of West Jordan, who with wife, Molly, overcame initial doubts about Southwick and invested some of their retirement savings in one of his real estate projects.