The ongoing fraud case against Jason "Jay" Lobins, a Denver investment fund manager accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from close friends and intimate partners, has escalated, with new criminal charges and more victims alleging fraud, theft and abuse.
The 46-year-old military veteran and advocate was first accused in 2020 of defrauding his then-girlfriend and another friend, Jared Stoots, of nearly $330,000 in investments and loans they had entrusted to Lobins Wealth Management LLC. The next year, investigators with the Colorado Division of Securities found that Lobins, who had never been certified to manage investments, had falsified investor account statements to show growing returns while using their deposits for personal expenses.
The Denver District Attorney's Office filed felony charges against Lobins in early 2022. Despite this, it took law enforcement authorities more than twelve months to arrest Lobins, who had continued to live at his Larimer Street townhouse near downtown. When Westword chronicled the saga earlier this year in "Deceit Street,” Lobins downplayed the allegations as part of a “misunderstanding” and promised to present his side of the story in court.
But the court case has been slow-going, with multiple delays and continuances as Lobins, who remains free on a $10,000 bond, had another hearing postponed on December 11. Lobins is represented by Denver defense attorney Joshua Landy; efforts to reach Landy were unsuccessful. Lobins no longer lives in his Larimer Street townhouse, and he did not respond to a request for comment.
A similar incident took place on Oahu, Hawaii, where Lobins was stationed as an Army Reservist. Lobins's ex-wife, Hannah Hancock, reported that Lobins had fraudulently opened a Citibank credit card in her name while they were married, accruing a debt of $10,959. Additionally, a cash advance check was forged in her name for $3,500 in Lobins’s handwriting. “He had convinced me that someone was stealing our mail and someone had stolen my identity,” she wrote in a 2008 report to the Honolulu Police Department. Hancock, eager to press charges and prosecute Lobins, was informed by the police that there was little they could do. She subsequently spent years attempting to rectify her credit history.
Now there are even more charges against Lobins.
In September, Denver Deputy District Attorney Ashley Beck filed four additional counts of securities fraud and theft against Lobins. This brings the total to eight felony charges on behalf of four alleged victims. One is Nichole Schaffer, a lifelong friend of Lobins’s from Arizona, who placed $50,000 of her savings with Lobins in 2020. Another, Erin Baggott, is a local real estate agent who began dating Lobins last year and put $30,000 into what she thought was a “Lobins Group” investment fund.
Both women say they began to have suspicions after erratic and deceptive behavior by Lobins led them to do an internet search of his name, where they found the Westword article. The signed investment agreements, promissory notes and other communications they received from Lobins are nearly identical to the ones that other victims provided.
But Corter, who served with Lobins in the Army in the mid-2000s, says his trust in his old friend was misplaced; Lobins allegedly used access to their accounts to make thousands of dollars' worth of unauthorized transactions, putting Corter's business at risk of closure. The chain of documents and text messages that Corter provided to investigators and the Denver DA are strikingly similar to those that Stoots shared four years ago.
“No money has been transferred!” Corter wrote in a text to Lobins on November 17. “I literally gave you money I didn't have, and have had ZERO money to buy anything for the business.”
Lobins never texted back.
In a hearing in Denver District Court on December 11, Lobins pleaded not guilty to charges of theft and securities fraud. Landy, his attorney, requested that the judge lift the requirement for a speedy trial in order to allow more time to address recent developments in the case.
Denver prosecutor Ashley Beck supported Landy's request, citing the case's evolving nature due to "new victims coming forward." The Denver District Attorney's Office, after already expanding the charges against Lobins with four additional felonies, is continuing its investigation into further allegations even as Beck tries to get the case into “final form” before trial.
Judge Michael Vallejos accepted Lobins's plea and scheduled a disposition hearing for February 5.
Westword has spoken with one of these "new victims," who contacted the Denver DA’s office this weekend with allegations that Lobins fraudulently took over $500,000. A close friend and business associate of Lobins, this person requested anonymity until a formal legal complaint is filed, but has documents showing investments made in various wealth funds managed by Lobins, including a six-figure investment this spring in a land deal in Parker.
The Colorado Division of Securities had flagged Lobins in 2021 for operating dubious investment programs, yet he has continued to seek money from investors for new business schemes.
Erin Baggot, a victim named in the ongoing case, expressed no surprise at Lobins's, plea but raised concerns about his continued freedom on bond, since evidence suggests that Lobins is still engaging in the same kind of fraudulent activities with which he's been charged. "I don’t think I’m going to get any money back,” she says. “But I’d like to know he can’t be hurting any more people. He’s out there still doing this, still scamming.”
This story was originally published on December 6; it's been updated to reflect the December 11 court action.