Sterling man appears in
court on fraud charges
By James Tilson
MANTI—A well-known Sterling resident has made his initial appearance in 6th District Court on charges of committing fraud against his wealthy father-in-law amounting to at least $93,000.
Kevin Pete Conover, 67, and his estranged wife, Heidi Conover, 57, were both charged with multiple counts of communications fraud occurring between February 2014 and July 2015.
The charges ranged from second-degree felonies to Class B misdemeanors, depending on the amount of money involved in each individual incident.
Heidi Conover faces 14 counts of communication fraud, while Kevin Conover only faces five counts.
Deputy Sanpete County Attorney Wes Mangum suggested Kevin may have been the smarter of the two co-defendants, since he did not sign the majority of documents that make up the “paper trail” of evidence in the case.
Kevin Conover has also been charged with three misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief, wrongful posting, and unlawful use of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) property arising from an unrelated incident, where Conover is alleged to have bulldozed a pond on property he didn’t own.
Both of the Conover cases came before Judge Marvin Bagley last Wednesday. Both cases were continued to Oct. 3 at 9 a.m., in order for the defendants to hire counsel.
Mangum explained the cases arose out of time when the Conovers had moved her father, W. Lynn Benson to their home in Sanpete County when he was having physical health problems.
During that time, between January 2013 and July 2015, the Conovers used a fraudulent power-of-attorney document to access her father’s corporate accounts for their own personal use. According to Mangum, they got Benson to sign the document without him understanding what he was signing.
While Mangum said his office has not totaled the entire amount the Conovers are alleged to have taken, charging documents state the amount taken is at least $93,992.04. The actual amount will probably be more than that.
Mangum said it is too early to determine how this case is going to be resolved. At this point, the county attorney’s office is preparing to take the matter to trial.