Garrett Elder has struck a deal with Justice Department that Tycoon Trading victims say is not justice at all


Garrett Elder, accused of bilking at least 130 Alaskans out of tens of millions of dollars through a phony investment scam called Tycoon Trading, is evidently cooperating with federal prosecutors and will avoid a lengthy trial. Instead, he will plead guilty and get a five-year sentence, court records show. His next hearing date was suddenly changed on Monday from April 14 to May 15, so that the settlement can be finalized.

But many of his victims are furious that the settlement leaves them high and dry, and believe the attorneys for the U.S. District Attorney Alaska have not done their job.

Victims tell Must Read Alaska that the DOJ has been lazy and has no idea of just how far the scam reaches. They say that in addition to wire fraud, they believe that money laundering has occurred, possibly through some of the dozens of shell companies that appear to have been set up by Elder or his late father Chris Elder or other members of the family — businesses that seem to have no real existence except on paper. The extraordinary number of these businesses is at least a red flag, the victims say.

Victims include one widow whose dying husband gave all their money to Garrett Elder so that his wife would be take care of after his passing. Elder took all the money and lived a high-fling lifestyle. The widow ended up with nothing.

Victims believe that Garrett Elder is now duping prosecutors, just as they were duped, because he is a skillful manipulator. No one — not even the prosecutors, evidently — can believe that such a wholesome-looking young man would continue to rip people off until the month he was caught.

“Garrett’s been interviewed by several and one individual at the FBI said that it was difficult to reconcile the image of the clean cut and painfully honest young man being interviewed against the charge of him having stolen $15mm and I agree; Garrett Elder is a manipulative liar of Machiavellian level skill.  I would wager much that his wife never had a clue what he was up to until the final 48 hours of the company.  The other employees were apparently shocked at the announcement on the last day which was ‘yeah, all the money’s gone; we’re closed. Go home,'” one victim wrote.

Victims have provided Must Read Alaska with extensive documentation, and it appears to check out. Garrett Elder and members of his family did, indeed, set up an extraordinary number of limited liability corporations in a short period of time. There’s no evidence they could have run that many businesses.

In fact, some victims say that it has the same look and feel that the crypto-currency exchange FTX had before it melted down and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried ended up on an ankle monitor.

The Tycoon Trading victims point out that companies normally have income, employ people, and bring something of value to the community. But there are so many businesses relating to Elder and a web of other people in his immediate orbit that seem downright fake to the victims, who say the government has barely scratched the surface:

“Do you have a company? Do you have a family? If you have both, what do you think a reasonable number of businesses between the few of you might be? Let’s look at the number of businesses between the original members of Tycoon Trading for a moment and see if this seems about right to you ,” victims wrote to Must Read Alaska, with the promise their identities would be kept confidential.

Here are some companies that some of the Elder family collectively hold wholly or partially, or had recent membership in:

– Alaska Private Equity LLC

– Alaska Private Equity 2, LLC

– Azalea Woods Subdivision
– Big Boys Toys & Pawn, LLC

– Black Swan, LLC
– Buck Wilder and Associates, LLC

– Elder Enterprises, LLC
– Evangelo’s LLC

– Faith Bible Fellowship of Big Lake
– Goats on a Roof LLC

– Guidance DPC LLC
– Home Water, LLC

– Intentional Legacy Holdings, LLC
– Karis Integrative Medicine LLC

– Kairos Group, Inc.
– Lake Haven LLC

– Land and Cabins LLC
– Mat-Su Thermography LLC

– Mizuna Capital LLC
– Mizuna Matata, LLC

– Northern Financial Services LLC
– Northern Skies LLC

– No Bosses LLC
– Our Cottage LLC

– Ocean Financing, Inc.
– Ocean Financing, LLC

– RMG Legacy Global, Inc.
– Some Other LLC

– Standard Investments LLC
– Storage Facility LLC

– Sunridge Apartments LLC
– TGI Funding Co., LLC

– The Kona Connection LLC

– Tycoon Trading LLC
– Westwood Water Company, Inc.

There are several other paper entities in other parts of the country including C&E (Chris and Elizabeth Elder) Revocable Trust, Alaska Private Equity 2, LLC (formed by Chris Elder in Wyoming during April of 2020 / SEC Form D @ $25mm), the Daily Bread Fund LLC, formed by Garrett Elder two months later in 2020 in Wyoming (filed SEC form D @ $30mm).

Another person, Jordon Trice, who was involved with Daily Bread Fund and one of Garrett Elder’s companies, Mizuna Capital, also appears on corporate documents.

Of note, even after the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities ordered Garrett Elder to cease and desist his activities in October, and just before the Justice Department formally charged Elder, he transferred his entire interest in Mizuna Capital to Trice in January of 2023. The Division of Corporations in the Department of Commerce stamped the approval of the transfer.

The question that the victims want the Justice Department to answer is, where is the money? They don’t believe all of it has been squandered, because they think it’s hard to squander $34 million in just a couple of years. They want to know if some of it has been squirreled away, maybe under a bed, maybe in silver, or maybe in one of these other family-associated companies.

As for the timeline of Tycoon Trading, here’s what the victims have researched on their own, because they feel they are not getting any help from the Justice Department, but have been instead advised by the DOJ to not get attorneys.

– Standard Investments formed by Blake and Natalie Elder
– Tycoon Trading formed as family-owned business
– Chris Elder / DUI with firearm

– Family endows Garrett Elder w/ $10k-$20k seed money 

– Garrett squanders entire family endowment. Family is aware.
– Tycoon Trading completes first catastrophic failure of fund.
– Garrett solicits investors from outside the family.
– Garrett attracts $500k. Conceals prior catastrophic failure. Squanders outside investor’s money, provides falsified performance reports.
– 11-2017 Chris & Amy Elder divorce

– Garrett completes second total fund failure.
– Investors notified of failure. Garrett hides the fact that he had intentionally falsified interim performance reports.
– 02-2018 Balance of Elder family abandon Tycoon Trading ownership by removing their names from official Biennial Report. None of the formal change of ownership documents were filed such that all remain owners.
– 03-2018 Garrett reported as new sole member of Tycoon Trading LLC.
– Garrett continues to solicit new business. Now views investors as income source. Gets millions from new clients.

– 04-2020 Chris Elder forms Alaska Private Equity 2 w/ SEC Form D claiming value of $25 million.
– 06-2020 Garrett Elder forms Daily Bread Fund w/ SEC Form D claiming value of $30 million.
– 10-2020 Chris and (new wife) Elizabeth Elder buy Evangelo’s Restaurant, valued at $2 million for $6.85 million.

– 07-2021 Garrett Elder forms Mizuna Capital in Anchorage.
– 07-2021 Garrett Elder forms Mizuna Matata in Delaware.
– 12-2021 Garrett Elder forms Northern Financial Services.
– 12-2021 Garrett Elder forms Buck Wilder & Associates.

– 09-20-2022 Garrett Elder attempts to purchase a nearly new Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe

– 10-02-2022 Some members advised of fund’s (now third) catastrophic failure. All the money is gone.


01-18-2023 Garrett Elder transfers 100% ownership of Mizuna Capital to Jordon Trice, who owns Aspen Alpha Advisers.

“Is it possible that dear old dad started a fictitious company w/ zero value and two months later Garrett did the exact same thing? That certainly appears to be the case,” one of the victims wrote. 

“Does that mean then that you should highly suspect the motives of the DOJ when they say Garrett was a really bad trader? Investors talk about money being lost. That’s a misnomer; money is not lost, it is moved. In this case, is it likely that Garrett traded your money with he and his dad’s companies and if the DOJ gets their way he’ll get out in five years and be spending your coin?” one victim wrote.

Photo credit: Garrett Elder from his Facebook account.


  1. This guy has a pile o cash somewhere and his parents were in on it. I bet the wife is not ignorant of where some of the cash is as well. She is living the life along side him, so ……

  2. You don’t pay property taxes on your home in Anchorage the city forecloses and ousts you at gun point without even a trial if you don’t leave.
    Then this criminal Garrett Elder fleeces dozens out of their money in the multi-millions and will get to keep it with not even a slap on the wrist.
    Time for a necktie party?

  3. The muni property appraisal show they own 1.6 million square feet of vacant land up off Glen Alps. The lawyers should go through the muni tax rolls and find out how much other land they own under other entity names. They should be looking in Wyoming as well.

    • That’s a great question, KD.

      We’d learned just last week that former City of Houston treasurer Jess George Adams had embezzled a very small fraction of the amount that Garrett Elder stole and Adams is appropriately facing numerous wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion charges with maximum penalties of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count, 10 years in prison for each money laundering count, and 5 years in prison for each tax evasion count:

      As we can see, Elder got considerably more from in excess of 130 Alaskans and we might presume that he, too was up to his elbows in assorted additional State and Federal crimes (theft, money laundering, tax fraud, securities fraud, etc), yet he’s been able to get this sort of kid glove treatment with one single charge of wire fraud resulting in a five year sentence which we might further presume will be far less once “good” behavior is factored in???

      It just doesn’t pass the smell test one bit, Ken.

  4. Great reporting once again, Suzanne!

    This makes much more sense now. Past reporting suggested there were insiders lining their pockets along the way and we can take a good guess now at who those accomplices are.

    What isn’t sufficiently answered though is just what’s wrong with the U.S. District Attorney Alaska as evidenced by their gross negligence or their inexcusable incompetence in letting Garrett Elder off of the hook so easily?

    Are they relying on some obscene past precedence which should be trashed or are they trying to establish a new and outrageously terrible precedent which will let other scammers know that they’ll henceforth have free reign to rob Alaskans with minimal penalties if they get caught?

    And do the henchmen and women he was evidently stealing with or otherwise transferring stolen money to get to just keep their ill-gotten gains without even so much as a slap on the hand?

    If this nonsense plea deal isn’t on the books yet, some pink slips need to get handed out at the U.S. District Attorney Alaska office and some replacements brought in who’ll deal with the matter like they’re serious.

    Alaskans deserve far better.

  5. The big guy must have gotten his 10%. Follow the money it’s there somewhere. He needs to be made an example of theft. Then we should look at our politicians and their money trail.

  6. Tell those victims, S.D, don’t sin in their anger and forgive, remind them leave room for God’s vengerence against this thief. He’ll not go unpunished.

    • C’mon, Jen. Forgiveness is what they count on when they set out to rob you in the first place.

      Recall that Garrett Elder was evidently a regular church-goer who’d ingratiated himself with the unsuspecting flock, gaining their trust as they came to view him as one of them, and then robbing them blind.

      We might reasonably presume that he was among the loudest of singers, vigorously shaking hands and greeting all comers, throwing $100 in stolen money on the collection plate every Sunday, and making sure that everyone in attendance was inclined to view him a one of the more pious, successful, and even blessed members of their believing flock who they, too, might be able to “invest” with.

      Jesus Himself would have flogged this dirtbag like a moneylender in the temple, Jen.

    • You have a distorted view of forgiveness, Jen. Here’s how it works in terms you’ll find familiar.

      “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.

      The term states clearly that if someone wrongs you in a specific manner you have a right to do the same to them in return. In this instance though none of the impacted victims are anything similar to the complete POS that Garrett Elder is and we wouldn’t (and couldn’t) steal from a six year old child, or the savings of a widow, or the savings of a retiree. We wouldn’t even think to steal from Garrett Elder. In that manner he’s forgiven.

      In the incorrect manner you’re using it though, he is not forgiven and must be held accountable.

  7. Good luck, victims. The Flnancial Litigation Unit is staffed with one attorney, two paralegals, and a part time collection agent. There is no noted investigator to dig up the assets, and a part timer could only handle entering the debt into the system. See

  8. DOJ just wants to notch another easy win. The final charges and penalties aren’t part of the score, just that they got a conviction. Only the conviction rates show up in their resumes.

  9. I was at the DOJ meeting recently and I applaud those that were able to share their personal experiences with Mr. Elder and how he’s left you in financial shambles. Of all of the heart wrenching snippets heard there were a few that haunt me yet.

    A woman in the second row. Somewhere around grandma’s age and I mean that well. She seemed Alaskan in view and demeanor. A mild mannered and kind woman that would be the ideal prey for a spineless and manipulative person. All in the room knew that Garrett Elder consumed any and all, as a pig at the trough, but as this woman told her story it became clear that Elder was knowingly taking from every possible victim irrespective of their ability to survive the damage he intentionally caused. You could hear the concern in her voice, a dispirited older woman reaching for help and we were all waiting for what we didn’t want to hear. You knew it would be worse than you could’ve imagined.

    Garrett Elder had been on her couch convincing her to entrust her money to him 30 days before Tycoon Trading failed and he convinced an aging woman to invest all that she had, knowing it wouldn’t help. It wouldn’t even postpone the failure of his company by a day.

    And she did.

    Thirty days later all she had earned and all she had saved was gone by the hand of a man with an intense desire to victimize those unlikely to victimize in return.

    Elder took, spent, squandered and stashed thirty four million dollars and freely admitted so directly to the FBI last October but he hasn’t spent a night in jail yet.

    Not even one.

    Elder’s scam was predatory, unconscionable and horrific but the DOJ? The one entity sworn to stand between all the good people and all the bad people? They’re attempting to allow Elder to walk with a slap on the hand. That in itself is predatory, horrific and dishonorable.

    The proposed plea brings shame upon the Department of Justice and to a degree that I had naturally assumed they were above. I was wrong and this must not go unnoticed.

  10. So Garrett Elder was actively fleecing an elderly victim out of her life’s savings within a month of the wheels coming off of his long-running scam, he learns that the authorities are on to him shortly thereafter, he then shovels piles of ill-gotten cash inclusive of this now impoverished old soul’s funds at a select group of insiders, and we now find out that the U.S. District Attorney Alaska has been toiling away behind closed doors to give Elder a very much undeserved break.


    Gotta wonder if the State or anyone else within the Federal government might be able to step in and straighten out this miscarriage of justice before the atrocious deal gets sealed?

  11. Garret and his family are loved dearly by many. I’m certain that he meant no harm. He got in over his head.

    The stock market and investments can be quite volatile.

    • You cannot be serious, there are always risks with investing. This has all the appearances of a well panned fleecing.
      Losing money and coming clean would be one way of dealing with it, falsifying statements and outright lying is another and does not bode will for Garrett’s character.

      He took advantage of family and friends and used them to further himself. There are many that have lost their life savings, many will never recover.

      • Gardyloo is the absolute perfect login name for a response to Garrett Elder’s Tycoon Trading fraud. Hollered from above as a medieval chamberpot was tossed out a second story window young Mr. Elder has splattered everyone. A revolting mental image of a revolting young man.

    • Yeah, that’s it, AKM.

      Surely he didn’t really mean to steal from children, the elderly, and everyone else he could rob. He must have just gotten a little carried away with the lies, the shell games, and the life of luxury he was living while spending the hard-earned money of those he’d been robbing on himself and his family and anyone who wants to hold him and them accountable for tens of millions of missing dollars is just petty.

      In fact, maybe he and his family are actually the most significant victims after all. I mean they’re all so dearly loved by many as you note that it must have been an honor to have been bilked like that.

      Perhaps we should just look past these monstrous crimes and take up a collection for them instead.

  12. “I would wager much that his wife never had a clue what he was up to until the final 48 hours of the company.”

    This stands out to me. If you discovered that your spouse had committed theft through manipulation amounting to millions without your knowledge you would initiate divorce proceedings immediately, right?!?

    My 2cents: if she stays with him, it is clear that she was involved and maybe assisted in recruiting potential victims? Would any reasonable person stay with someone knowing they are happy to destroy other’s financial security for their own gain?

    • Option C: She could divorce him, hide the assets, and continue in the relationship as if they were married. Unless DOJ has the guts to go ‘pierce the veil’ of the LLCs, the victims won’t see much.

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