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A preliminary hearing has been set for a man accused of defrauding an elderly person out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Jay Dick Frandsen, 66, faces 18 felonies in the 1st District Court: 14 counts of third-degree securities fraud, one count of second-degree exploitation of a vulnerable adult, two second-degree felonies for issuing a bad check and one third-degree count for conducting business as an unregistered securities agent.

A preliminary hearing to determine probable cause in the case has been set for Oct. 6.

The charges filed against Frandsen in July 2019 allege multiple incidents of fraud against a victim over the age of 65.

Cache County Prosecutor Griffin Hazard told The Herald Journal it’s alleged that in August 2012 Frandsen approached the victim regarding a gold mining operation in South Africa. Frandsen told the victim his business partner in the operation had died, and the South African government desired to purchase their mining equipment worth millions of dollars. It’s alleged Frandsen asked the victim for money upfront to pay fines, fees and taxes in order to get the money for the sale of the mining equipment.

Hazard said the alleged victim wrote several checks to Frandsen between 2012 and 2015, and was promised 100 percent return on his investment, but was never reimbursed. The total restitution sought in the case amounts to $338,000, Hazard said, and Frandsen is alleged to have issued a check over $235,000 to the victim which ultimately bounced.

“I believe it’s all fraudulent,” Hazard said. “There’s no evidence to suggest that he actually has any of that.”

Frandsen’s case has been delayed several times for various reasons. In prior court appearances Frandsen expressed concern over hiring an attorney; he told the court in January he had to sell his father’s home to afford counsel and sale of the home was pending. Nearly a month later, Frandsen was appointed then-public defender Bryan Galloway who was later confirmed as a judge in the juvenile court. According to Hazard, COVID-19 has also caused delays in the case.

Since then, defense attorney Mike McGinnis has been appointed as counsel for Frandsen.

In similar cases with a conviction, Hazard said the Cache County Attorney’s Office makes a practice of collecting as much money as possible upfront, requesting court-ordered restitution and setting up workable payment plans for defendants.

“The Cache County Attorney’s Office places a high priority on collecting restitution for victims and trying to make them whole,” Hazard said. “We try to hold people accountable under those payment plans, but it can be very difficult to collect restitution in cases such as this.”

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