Car Collection of Utah Ponzi Schemer Seized and Auctioned

Posted on Dec 24 2009 - 1:00pm by Holly Robinson

Federal investigators have seized the car collection of former Utah investment banker Jeffrey Mowen, who along with his partners, used a Ponzi scheme to collect approximately $41 million from investors in several states, was facing new charges last week for trying to persuade a fellow prison inmate to kill four witnesses. Mowen fled to Panama last spring, and was arrested there in April. He was indicted on charges of wire fraud a few days later. 

Mowen used more than $6 million of the money from his scheme to buy luxury and antique cars and motorbikes. He was storing almost 300 cars, trucks, and motorbikes in storage facilities scattered around Utah. Mowen’s cars, which included several replicas (he had replicas of a 1967 Porsche Speedster, a 1931 Ford, a 1925 Ford Woody, a 1937 Ford Opera Limo, and a 2000 Lamborghini, among others), and here an there an odd classic, such as a 1969 Charger, a 1992 Acura NSX and a 1970 GTO Judge. Mowen was also storing a replica of the Harley Davidson motorcycle that Peter Fonda drove in the movie Easy Rider. They have all been seized now, and will be auctioned on Thursday, January 7, in North Salt Lake, Utah. Proceeds from the sale will be used to partially repay the victims of Mowen’s fraud. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not revealed where Mowen was storing his vehicles. 

Although Mowen bought his cars with money from an illegal Ponzi scheme, car collecting is not an unusual hobby. Most people, however, do not have space to store more than one or two cars at their home. There are quite a few storage facilities to choose from in Utah, including Extra Space’s own branches. It is best to store cars in a drive-up garage space or drive-up interior space, which would offer protection from the elements and the weather. Extra Space recommends that car owners consider putting a cover over cars in storage. Most Extra Space facilities have car covers available. Many classic and sports car owners also like to put down carpet on the floor, to protect the cars tires. Tires should be inflated and in good shape when the car is brought in (it must be driven in, not towed). Extra Space, like many other storage companies, does not allow its unit to be used as workshops to work on cars, because self storage facilities are not equipped for disposal of hazardous chemicals. To store most vehicles, you must provide proof of registration and insurance.

If you have any questions about storing cars, ask an Extra Space facility manager — our managers are goldmines of information when it comes to getting the most out of self-storage.