I couldn't remember where the initial post about this item was placed so I put this update here
.James Redd -- the Blanding physician who killed himself after he and his wife, Jeanne, were indicted on felony charges of illegally selling ancient American Indian artifacts -- may also have been involved in a Ponzi scam, federal authorities allege.
In a new request filed this week to widen the forensic search of computers and journals seized from the Redds' Blanding home, investigators say a preliminary review of Jeanne Redd's journal indicates she and possibly her husband "were engaged in a fraudulent scheme to obtain money from a multilevel marketing company."
The search-warrant affidavit does not name the company or say who the fraud victims, if any, might be.
During a federal raid June 10, agents seized four computers from the Redds believed to contain evidence of criminal offense, contraband and the "fruits of crime," the document says.
Also taken were "numerous handwritten journal entries" by Jeanne and James Redd. The affidavit alleges that the journal entries -- in addition to providing evidence of artifact collection, purchase and sale -- will show evidence related to fraud.
Federal officials declined Wednesday to offer specifics on the allegations. "Because it is an ongoing investigation, we won't be able to comment beyond what you see in the search warrant," said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman.
A man who answered the Redd home telephone Wednesday afternoon said therewould be no comment.
Blanding resident Phil Mueller, who has acted as the family spokesman, said the Redds were involved with Melaleuca, a company that sells items such as cosmetics and cleaning products.
In 2005, Melaleuca recognized the Redds for their high level of customers enrolled. The company's Web site denies it is a multilevel marketing scheme, but the Internet bristles with accusations that it is a pyramid fraud based on recruiting an increasing number of investors who pay into the system that enriches those at the top.
The Redds were among 24 Utah, Colorado and New Mexico residents indicted earlier this month after a 2 1/2-year investigation. Tolman said that during the sting, an undercover operative -- identified in court papers as "the Source" -- bought and sold more than 250 artifacts from the Four Corners area, including sacred prayer sticks, baby blankets, seed jars and other objects found in ancient Puebloan burial mounds in transactions amounting to nearly $336,000.
James Redd, 60, took his own life June 11, the day after the raid. His funeral was June 16, the same day the court unsealed 10 affidavits pertaining to the Utah defendants in the probe. He died of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Last Friday, another defendant died after shooting himself twice in the chest. Steven Shrader, 56, of Santa Fe, N.M., who faced two felonies, killed himself behind an elementary school in Shabbona, Ill., where he had gone to visit his mother, authorities said.
The Redd affidavit says the couple used a personal computer to exchange e-mails with the Source. The Redd search warrant -- and all the others -- also allowed seizure of any computers in the homes.
The Redds have had other problems with the law. Nearly 20 years ago, James Redd pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud in a Utah court. He entered into an agreement that he would pay $12,000; once he did, the court in 1992 allowed him to withdraw his plea.
The Redds settled a $250,000 lawsuit filed by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration for $10,000 after they were prosecuted for raiding a burial site. Jeanne Redd pleaded no contest to a reduced charge, and charges against James Redd eventually were dropped.