Business owner Curtis L. DeYoung has agreed to settle federal accusations that he misappropriated $24 million from customers of his company, American Pension Services, which administers self-directed retirement accounts.

Mr. DeYoung agreed to be liable for the repayment of $19.89 million plus $3.5 million in interest as part of settlements reached with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC sued after investigating Mr. DeYoung and American Pension Services, based in Sandy, Utah.

The prospects for repayment of much of the missing funds look dim, however. The court-appointed receiver, Ballard Spahr attorney Diane Thompson, said the sale of the assets from Mr. DeYoung and his wife Michelle would contribute little. Ms. Thompson, who is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office, is seeking the return of $3.1 million in salaries and retirement funds from the DeYoungs, but it’s unclear how much might be recovered.

The SEC sued Mr. DeYoung and his company in April 2014 after an investigation showed millions of dollars were missing from clients. Customers used accounts held by the company to invest through means beyond the options offered by traditional IRA service providers such as banks and brokerages.

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