PAYSON, Ariz. — A Payson woman and author of several spiritual books has been fined by the Arizona Corporation Commission for defrauding an elderly man in an investment deal.
Lori Toye, who's appeared on television to describe visions she's had of the U.S. undergoing severe geophysical changes, and her husband Lenard have recently been ordered to pay $72,000 in restitution after they allegedly convinced a man to invest in a questionable real estate deal, officials say.
The couple had been selling membership interests to fund the development of a 300-acre parcel of land in eastern Arizona into a residential community and golf course, ACC records state.
Over the course of a decade, the Toyes allegedly sold investments worth over $400,000, but by 2015, any business activity on the land development appeared to have stopped.
A couple of years later, the couple allegedly sold stock and investment contracts to an elderly man and the ACC says they failed to tell the investor about the lack of activity with the project.
The ACC says the couple used the investor's funds for personal uses that included making car payments and eating at restaurants.
"All investors have lost all their funds and the project remains simply a plot of land with no development," ACC records state.
Earlier this month, the commission ordered the couple and their affiliated companies to pay $72,000 in restitution and a $20,000 administrative penalty.
By settling the matter, the ACC says the Toyes neither admit nor deny the commission’s findings but agree to the terms of the consent order.
Toye describes herself online as a "mystic" who claims to have seen visions foreseeing parts of the United States sinking into the ocean. Her website sells maps depicting which portions of the U.S. will sink under water at some point in the future.
A segment produced by 12 News many years ago profiled people who moved to Arizona because they believed Toye's visions.
"The message was very powerful because it was a prophecy," Toye told 12 News in the segment.
An email submitted through Toye's website seeking comment on the ACC case did not immediately solicit a response.
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